Plotting the Afghan war, via Open Source Tools Turn WikiLeaks Into Illustrated Afghan Meltdown Updated | Danger Room | Wired.com:
It’s one thing to read about individual Taliban attacks in WikiLeaks’ trove of war logs. It’s something quite different to see the bombings and the shootings mount, and watch the insurgency metastasize.
Even more Afghan visualizations thanks to WikiLeaks are available at Visualizing Data.
Guess which link-map representation above is the most efficient for showing directionality? Information Aesthetics blog has an interesting article about the different techniques for showing the “from-” and “to-” of network charts.
Networks are often visualized using points and interconnecting lines, with triangular arrowheads at one or both ends to show any directionality between the different points. Although such a standard arrow representation seems intuitive, it can lead to problems in dense graphs that contain many incoming or outgoing relationships. Furthermore, since the arrowheads often have approximately the same size and aspect ratio as the small circles they connect, the graph as a whole might be perceived as cluttered with so much visual detail to the point of being distracting.
via What is the Best Way to Represent Directionality in Network Visualizations? – information aesthetics.
This visualization only looks like the spreading of a horrible plague. It is instead of the growth of Walmart and Sam’s Clubs throughout the United States. Starting in the relatively quiet 1960’s, Walmart added one or two locations a year. The flow accelerates until in 2010 there are 4393 stores studded across an apocalyptic consumerist landscape.
Watch the Growth of Walmart and Sams Club Across America | FlowingData.
Google API add-on lets you make heat maps inside a Google Map portal!
HeatMapAPI can be used over the Internet or as a .NET DLL that runs in a local environment and allows you to integrate heat map images into Google Maps or other GIS systems. In this post we’re going to use HeatMapAPI to visualize the density of recent Starbucks store closures. In a recent statement, Starbucks announced the closure of 600+ stores in the United States due to economic conditions.
In other news, we’d like to thank Starbucks for providing their easily-parsed list of closures. Most visualizations I’ve seen are using this dataset.
via Density Mapping in Google Maps with HeatMapAPI « GeoChalkboard.
A map of the USA showing where bars outnumber grocery stores.
FloatingSheep, a fun geography blog, looks at the beer belly of America. One maps shows total number of bars, but the interesting map is the one above. Red dots represent locations where there are more bars than grocery stores, based on results from the Google Maps API. The Midwest takes their drinking seriously.
via Where Bars Trump Grocery Stores | FlowingData.
From Slate: News Dots. This little Flash-driven app renders the day’s events as a social network.
Like Kevin Bacon’s co-stars, topics in the news are all connected by degrees of separation. To examine how every story fits together, News Dots visualizes the most recent topics in the news as a giant social network. Subjects—represented by the circles below—are connected to one another if they appear together in at least two stories, and the size of the dot is proportional to the total number of times the subject is mentioned.
Introducing News Dots – By Chris Wilson – Slate Magazine.
From Sunlight Labs:
Despite the recent explosion of web based cartography tools, making effective maps for data visualization remains a challenge. While tools like Google Maps are great for helping navigate the world they are often poorly suited for thematic mapping, as many features like roads and cities only get in the way of telling compelling stories with data. In fact, even the distance between places can be a distraction – who cares how far away Alaska is when the goal is to make a simple comparison between US states?
Here’s the github project so you can play around:
via Sunlight Labs: Blog – ClearMaps: A Mapping Framework for Data Visualization.