Every Wikipedia entry has an optional feature we take for granted—geotagging. An entry on the Lincoln Memorial will be linked to its specific latitude and longitude in Washington D.C. On any individual post, this may or may not be a useful thing. But what about looking at these locations en masse?
That was a question asked by data viz specialist and programmer Olivier Beauchesne. To find out, he downloaded all of Wikipedia (it’s open-source, after all) then used an algorithm that would assemble 300 topical clusters from popular, related keywords. Then he placed the location of each article in these topical clusters on a map. What he found was astounding.
“Eventually, Beauchesne’s maps evolve to something more than the locations of everything in the world. They become the locations of, quite simply, everything we know.”
HOW DO YOU DEPICT THE 400,000 YEARS OF LIFE LOST TO GUNS ANNUALLY? NOT BY AGGREGATING, BUT BY SHOWING EACH LIFE AS A DISCRETE LINE.
“We’re hoping that people will see these individual victims,” the team tells Co.Design. “We’re not looking at aggregate numbers. We’re not trying to analyze this data. This data was living and breathing, and has now been extinguished. We’re hoping to keep their flames living on in the hearts of others.”
That word “flame” plays out literally. A black background is cut with a burning orange or yellow arc of light (a person’s life). Upon death, they fall from the sky, and a “ghost lift” line finishes their trajectory. It’s absolutely cutting to look at, especially after a few moments, when the graphic just inundates you with lost life—what adds up to 400,000 years of living, taken by bullets.
This stunning visualization by Periscopic makes the sad numbers behind gun deaths more tangible.
In one awesome illustration, you can catch up on the 20 biggest events of the Internet in the last year. The bad news is each and every item is coded inside a puzzle.
Now in its third year, Twenty Things That Happened on the Internet(20things) recounts a whole year of online culture within one epic print. Illustrated by Sebastien Feraut and promoted by the Syzygy Group, it’s pretty much the equivalent to pouring Pixy Sticks into your eyeballs or watching about 30 seconds of Japanese prime-time television. In other words, it’s fantastic as long as you’re wearing eye protection.
Reporting the first official election results from Dixville Notch, New Hampshire, is an Election Day tradition. The tiny town is a novel bellwether for the rest of the country, and this morning, the town reported a perfect tie, with five votes for Obama and five for Romney. If a ten-person town can be any indication, we’re in for a long day.
Thanks to the Internet, we’ve got dozens of ways to watch the results roll in. Parsing the hundreds of scenarios that could unfold today is a more complicated proposition. But The New York Times does a beautiful job with this bracket interactive, leading us through the 431 discrete paths to the White House open to Obama, and the 76 paths open to Romney. Designed by Mike Bostock and Shan Carter, it’s the most illuminating election graphic we’ve seen around the web.