Seeing information 2011
December 21, 2011 6:08 AM   Subscribe

The Best Data Visualization Projects of 2011 from FlowingData.
posted by jjray (6 comments total) 26 users marked this as a favorite

hmm, they got XKCD's Radiation thing but not the money thing? I thought the money one was the better of the 2. ( )
posted by Blake at 6:21 AM on December 21, 2011 [1 favorite]

Yeah, I thought the money one was better too. I wonder if they omitted that one because it was "too political". That would explain the "better life index" too. I'd never heard of it, so I clicked through. It asks you to rate the relative importance of motherhood, apple pie and puppies. No way to choose things like degree of religiosity, access to abortion, etc. Pretty bland.
posted by DU at 6:26 AM on December 21, 2011

Agree about xkcd's money graphic, too

I'm not sure I'd call the D3 examples "best" by a long shot. They certainly are thick with a certain geeky "shiny-cool-hotness", but I generally find most examples of the genre real failures when it comes to, y'know, presenting information in a clear, understandable way. They mostly seem to be skewed toward graphic eye-candy first, and information-transmission third.

~grumbles about kids on the lawn...
posted by Thorzdad at 6:28 AM on December 21, 2011 [2 favorites]

my personal favorite data visualization project is weatherspark, most intuitive and best weather site out there.
posted by Mach5 at 7:30 AM on December 21, 2011 [5 favorites]

Holy crap, that weatherspark thing is awesome, I forgot all about that site. Thanks for pointing to that!
posted by Blake at 7:55 AM on December 21, 2011

Ugh, the radiation dose chart. It's a good visualization but it's really misleading about Fukushima in particular. It was made really quickly after the disaster and never updated when more accurate information came out. As a result it makes it look like the Fukushima disaster was orders of magnitude "less bad" then it actually was.

For Fukushima, for example it shows.

0.001 Sieverts for "Typical dose over two weeks in Fukshima Exclusion Zone"
0.04 Sv as "Approximate total dose at one station at the west edge of Fukushima exclusion zone"
0.18 Sv for "Dose received by two Fukushima Plant Workers"

On the other hand "10 minutes next to the Chernobyl reactor core after explosion and meltdown" is listed as 50 Sieverts/10 minutes (which would be 300 Sv/hour).

So, the implication is clear, Fukushima isn't nearly as bad as Chernobyl, right? The only number for Chernobyl at the time it happened is 277 times as much as the highest number listed for Fukushima.

However, The highest actual measured level was 10 Sv/hour, and that was as high as the instruments could measure. That's 55 times as much radiation per hour as the largest figure for Fukushima on the chart, but it's actually 1/30th as much radiation, per hour as standing next to the Chernobyl core.

And, that chart gets trotted out all the time to illustrate how Fukushima "wasn't that bad"
posted by delmoi at 8:42 AM on December 21, 2011 [2 favorites]

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