interactive feature highlights
February 14, 2009 11:50 AM   Subscribe

Journalism may be going through a painful period but thanks to the web the once lowly information graphic is finally growing up to be all it never could on paper. Especially the New York Times seems to currently stand out in how frequently and quickly they build amazingly detailed and insightful interactive features. Consider the tracking of US Airways Flight 1549 or the piece on raising its engine from the Hudson. Other recent highlights: 9,955,441 parking tickets issues in NYC mapped by street, The Ebb and Flow of Movies: Box Office Receipts 1986 — 2008, Ansel Adams's Yosemite, the view from the 10-meter platform explained, A look at the language of presidential inaugural addresses 1789 to the Present, A Map of the number of medals that countries won in summer Olympic Games, Going to the End of the Line, The 44 Places to go in 2009, an explanation of how the Pentagon responded to criticism of then-Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld, The Soyuz Spacecraft, How the Towers Stood and Fell and many, many, more.

I am of course aware that it's not just the NYT that's doing great interactive work these days. one example I particularly like is the Los Angeles County Homicide Map but they closed down the accompanying blog. please do feel free to add more great examples. I'm merely trying to get the ball rolling.
posted by krautland (16 comments total) 46 users marked this as a favorite
I wouldn't call static infographics lowly. A lot of *fantastic* work has been done with cutaway drawings or diagrams that collapse time into a single illustration. That said, watching a motion graphic of the twitter buzz during the superbowl is pretty fascinating. A good source of info & commentary on the NYT information design is Nathan at Flowing Data.
posted by serial_consign at 11:57 AM on February 14, 2009

I thought their 2008 election results map was particularly slick. They've got ones for Senate, House, and gubernatorial races along the top bar, too.
posted by Rhaomi at 12:02 PM on February 14, 2009

Be sure to check out this related FPP:
Queens of InfoVis -- "Ever see an awesome graphic or visualization in the New York Times and wonder who did it? Chances are it's either Amanda Cox or Megan Jaegerman."
posted by ericb at 12:02 PM on February 14, 2009 [2 favorites]

Neat, especially the Flight 1549 tracking. I have a hard time thinking in 3 dimensions, so graphics which depict 3D events that make sense to flatlanders like me are uncommon and intriguing.
posted by Quietgal at 12:20 PM on February 14, 2009

Very cool. This may not be quite as innovative, but I'm a fan of the new Article Skimmer .
posted by theefixedstars at 12:29 PM on February 14, 2009

This is a lovely post.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 12:38 PM on February 14, 2009

Great post. You're correct that newspaper graphics are experiencing something of a heyday; The Guardian's infographics have been nominated for the Brit Insurance Design of the Year award. They won't win, but it's an achievement to be nominated.
posted by WPW at 1:03 PM on February 14, 2009

I am not sure just how much credit he should get for the links I posted above but thought I'd add that the current design director for is Khoi Vinh. his personal site is
posted by krautland at 1:03 PM on February 14, 2009

Nice post - I love this stuff too, but there seem to be an increasing number of examples that put the glitz before the content, and actually rub up to detract from, rather than contribute to clarity. This BNP heat map in The Guardian was a particularly lousy example IMO.
posted by bifter at 1:55 PM on February 14, 2009

bifter: That BNP heat map is truly awful, when you think about it...
posted by adrianhon at 2:22 PM on February 14, 2009

Mmm, infographics. The Information Aesthetics paper-based visualisation competition finalists came out yesterday and the winner is awesome, if you don't mind straying outside of illustration country.
posted by carbide at 3:19 PM on February 14, 2009

Great post—thank you so much for this! As it happens, I am undertaking a career shift from journalism into infoviz right now, and blogging about it too, natch (selflink). The NYT has been doing remarkable work in the field, while community sites such as ManyEyes are providing tools and data to encourage the masses (like me) to get into the game:
--a treemap of the newly passed stimulus package
--the 50 most popular books on LibraryThing
--per capita levels of booze consumption by country (WTF Uganda?!)
There's also tremendous stuff at Visual Complexity and Information Aesthetics—both deserve (and reward) hours of contemplation.
posted by GrammarMoses at 3:27 PM on February 14, 2009

Soyuz is the real space truck, no?
posted by Mister_A at 3:55 PM on February 14, 2009

I love these things. Thanks for compiling some of the best.
posted by defenestration at 4:31 PM on February 14, 2009

... you can tell time by the frequency and the dependability of Soyuz. Collectively, it may be the greatest technological achievement of humankind...

...after OpenVMS, of course. ; )
posted by PROD_TPSL at 8:31 AM on February 15, 2009

I'm still going through these, but I'm not sure I can deal with being patronised for much longer.

(Really? A diver went 'underwater', and attached a steel cable. No fucking shit. What did you expect, a teleporter ray?)
posted by pompomtom at 6:38 PM on February 15, 2009

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