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Data visualization

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Mathematician Hannah Fry is back with another video. She explains why it seems like everyone in your network — on Twitter, Facebook, and in real life — is more popular than you and how we can use this idea to predict the spread of diseases. Fry's understated presentation style totally enhances the interesting subject matter.

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For this rainy Labor Day, here's an uplifting talk by DataKind founder Jake Porway. He talks data and how it can make a worthwhile difference in areas that could use a change.

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A video from the International Geosphere-Biosphere Programme explains global warming and projected changes in the near future. I wanted them to provide more contrast to the data they showed over the globe, but the story itself is an interesting one.

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Original author: 
Nathan Yau

PBS Off Book's recent episode is on "the art of data visualization." It feels like a TED talk — kind of fluffy and warm — with several names and visualization examples that you'll recognize. No clue who the first guy is though.

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Original author: 
Nathan Yau

After seeing a Reddit post on the convergence of Miss Korea faces, supposedly due to high rates of plastic surgery, graduate student Jia-Bin Huang analyzed the faces of 20 contestants. Below is a short video of each face slowly transitioning to the other.

From the video and pictures it's pretty clear that the photos look similar, but Huang took it a step further with a handful of computer vision techniques to quantify the likeness between faces. And again, the analysis shows similarity between the photos, so the gut reaction is that the contestants are nearly identical.

However, you have to assume that the pictures are accurate representations of the contestants, which doesn't seem to pan out at all. It's amazing what some makeup, hair, and photoshop can do.

You gotta consider your data source before you make assumptions about what that data represents.

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Original author: 
Nathan Yau

Here is today

When you focus on all the small events and decisions that happen throughout a single day, those 24 hours can seem like an eternity. Graphic designer Luke Twyman turned that around in Here is Today. It's a straightforward interactive that places one day in the context of all days ever.

You start at today, and as you move forward, the days before this one appear, until today is reduced to a one-pixel sliver on the screen and doesn't seem like much at all.

Data Points: Visualization That Means Something is available now. Order your copy.

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Original author: 
Nathan Yau

This video clearly describes the distribution of wealth in America using a set of transitioning charts. The graphics are good. The explanation is better.

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what the internet looks like

In a collaboration between PEER 1 Hosting, Steamclock Software, and Jeff Johnston, the Map of the Internet app provides a picture of what the physical Internet looks like.

Users can view Internet service providers (ISPs), Internet exchange points, universities and other organizations through two view options — Globe and Network. The app also allows users to generate a trace route between where they are located to a destination node, search for where popular companies and domains are, as well as identify their current location on the map.

I can't say how accurate it is or if the described mechanisms are accurate, but it sure is fun to play with. The view above and a globe are placed a three-dimensional space, and you can zoom and rotate as you please. There's also a time slider, so you can see changes to the Internet over the years.

Get it for free on iTunes.

A CNNMoney segment of the app in action:

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Musical Chairs by Alex Cornell

It can be tricky picking the right seat at a dinner party. So much depends on how many people there are and what shape the table is. Luckily, Alex Cornell provides a guide on where to sit and when to arrive to get the best seat of the night. The 4-person circle is your best bet.

This is the ideal setup. You are safe sitting in any seat. Regardless how interesting everyone is, you pretty much can’t go wrong. Note: as the diameter of the table increases, so too does the importance that you sit adjacent to someone you like.

Sorry for always sitting at the lonely end seat in the 7-person rectangle. [via kottke]

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