20 Great Interactive Visualizations of 2012

Drew Skau

published on December 20, 2012 in Design

Static Infographics and Motion Graphics are great, but Interactive Visualizations and are where all the fun is.

    1. Another year has gone by, and we’ve polluted our planet even more. ElkanoData shows us How Much We Have Polluted.
      How Much Have We Polluted?



    1. Environmental damage isn’t just done by pollution. Infrastructure interferes with the environment as well, as told in this excellent story based interactive; Bear 71.
      Bear 71

      Browse more data visualization.



    1. In the US, Some of this attitude comes from Manifest Destiny. Michael Porath put together this fantastic History of Manifest Destiny.
      Manifest Destiny - The Story of The US Told in 141 Maps



    1. Ideologies of the US population also spillover into the courtroom. The Ideological History of the Supreme Court shows the strength of these biases for each Justice.
      The Ideological History of the US Supreme Court, 1937-2007



    1. Politics are also driven by ideologies. Strongly differing ideologies can lead to intense debates. To see how intense, check out Visualizing Intensity of the Final Debate.
      Visualizing Intensity of Final Debate

      Learn about infographic design.



    1. This intensity was judged by the American people, and factored into their decision at the beginning of November. There were lots of complex maps showing the vote of each state, but the Guardian had one fun visualization that got straight to the point: Is Barack Obama the President?
      Is Barack Obama The President?



    1. Now that we know the PoTUS for the next four years, let’s check out his connections on Twitter. Twiplomacy shows the breakdown of the Twitter networks of world leaders.

      Learn about infographic design.



    1. Twitter connections aside, what makes a bigger difference is How Educated World Leaders Are. Almossawi created this amazing interactive to explore their education levels.
      How educated are world leaders?

      by almossawi. Browse more data visualization.



    1. Educated world leaders should definitely know a few prime numbers, but the really interesting part is the patterns they make in El Patrón de los Números Primos.
      El Patrón de los Números Primos



    1. Another interesting pattern is Apple’s transition from desktop to mobile. 10 Years of Daring Fireball shows the topics of John Gruber’s blog, revealing the transition.
      10 Years of Daring Fireball



    1. Wikipedia also has patterns. There might be a Gender Bias in the website’s articles. To see it yourself, check out this interactive by moebio.
      Wikipedia Gender



    1. Wikipedia also tends to have more articles in highly populated areas. This Wikipedia Map shows every geo-tagged article on Wikipedia.
      Wikipedia Map



    1. There are also high correlations between population density and the spread of epidemics. AIDSVu shows the distribution of AIDS patients across the US.

      Browse more data visualization.



    1. There are other interesting patterns that can be seen in maps however. Thanksgiving vs. Blackfriday by Accurat shows concentrations of tweets, revealing the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, and the shopping centers of New York City.
      Thanksgiving vs Blackfriday?

      by accurat.Browse more data visualization.



    1. Maps don’t even have to be of real places. Attacker Locations shows the location of kills and attack points in the virtual world of one of the Counter Strike levels.
      Counter Strike Attacker Locations



    1. Maps can also show other real worlds. Hrwgc has used open source software to make a Map of Mars.
      Mapping Mars with Open Source Software



    1. Finding other planets to explore is also something visualization can help with. XKCD put together a chart of all known Exoplanets. Codementum built an interactive version showing all of them, along with other information and a few view options.
      Exoplanets: an interactive version of XKCD 1071



    1. Back here on Earth, we need to see the weather occasionally. The Wind Map shows the wind speed and direction across the US, producing beautiful animations of the air flow across the country.
      Wind Map



    1. There are also maps being used experimentally in other media. The band, xx released a data visualization with their Coexist Album showing where the album has been shared around the world.
      xx Album Coexist

      Browse more data visualization.



  1. Sometimes the best maps do not show geography. Jerome Cukier has mapped Events in the Game of Thrones series.
    Events in the Game of Thrones

    Browse more data visualization.


Drew Skau is Visualization Architect at Visual.ly and a PhD Computer Science Visualization student at UNCC with an undergraduate degree in Architecture. You can follow him on twitter @SeeingStructure

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