Like most recent years, 2013 has been packed full of infographics. Some were about current events, others just covered cool topics. A lot of those infographics turned out pretty awesome, so here are 20 of our 2013 favorites:
- 2013 began with a waning gibbous moon, and what better way to learn about moon phases than with Oreos.
- The moon’s phases gradually change over time, and A Perspective on Time does a great job of showing how immense time actually is, and how our participation in the cosmic timeline is so miniscule.
- And to zoom in on the time that we’ve been around, check out A Timeline of the History of the World. It does a great job of showing human history, both geographically, and chronologically.
- Let’s zoom out a bit and look at the solar system as a whole. The Planets gives a great perspective on just how small we are in comparison to our local space neighborhood.
- Meteorites all come from our solar system, and the Chelyabisnk incident this year was a reminder that we need to keep our eyes to the sky if we don’t want to end up extinct. This graphic shows recorded meteorite strikes from 1900 to 2013.
- This seems hard to do now, but as a species, we have a history of creating infrastructure to prevent disasters. We have built tons of lighthouses to keep ships safe. The best part of this graphic is how the huge quantities of lighthouses in the northern hemisphere don’t even fit along the coastline.
- We also do things that aren’t great for our health, even when we know the risks. High heels are notoriously detrimental to muscles, tendons, and ligaments. The anatomical diagrams in this graphic are a great way to illustrate the effects of high heels on the body.
- And many of us still smoke despite the overwhelming proof that smoking tobacco causes cancer. This graphic does an amazing job of both visualizing and illustrating using physical materials related to the subject matter.
- Last year, several states legalized marijuana, and the effects of that are being felt this year, with lots of people legally exploring the drug. If you’re feeling a little less rebellious, or just want to know where to start, perhaps exploring through an infographic is a good option.
- While some states are looking at new sources of tax revenue, Detroit was going bankrupt. This graphic goes down the things that got Detroit into its bad predicament.
- And the federal government was left helpless while congressional republicans forced a shutdown. This wasn’t the first time the federal government shut down, as you can see from the graphic, but it may have been the most absurd.
- The shutdown temporarily closed all of the National Parks in the United States. Seeing them all compared side by side really put into perspective the wonders that were inaccessible during the shutdown.
- With shutdowns like that happening, many people had to cancel or change travel plans and were hit with Airline Fees. This graphic attempts to clarify the intentionally confusing world of airline fees for most major US airlines.
- Meanwhile, shorter trips were still being made all across the country using bicycles. The San Francisco Bicycle System shows how cyclists end up with a different set of routes in a city than motorists.
- But bikes are really just for local transit. Elon Musk introduced a new proposed transit method, the much hyped Hyperloop.
- Long distance ground travel that fast might change the way the United States of Football looks. Facebook released some amazing data collected at a level never before possible. That data led to a county-level map of predominant football allegiances.
- Developments like the hyperloop start to make things like sci-fi spaceships look almost attainable, and this graphic does a great job of showing scale in a fictional world that often seems intangible.
- And open sourcing the hyperloop design follows trends that have been happening in the software industry for a long time. The charts in this graphic do an amazing job of painting a picture of open source software.
- Open source movements like that relate directly back to older technologies like knots where anyone could examine and reproduce it themselves. Knot 2 Shabby is in the same spirit and helps you learn how to tie some knots yourself.
- Information sharing like the open source movement is the best way we as a species will be able to do awesome things again, like landing on the moon. This graphic does a great job of outlining all of the major events that happened on Apollo 11′s way to the moon and back.