State gun laws

January 4, 2013 § Leave a comment

guns in america

The federal government enforces a few basic gun laws: you generally can’t have a machine gun or a silencer; you can’t buy a gun if you are crazy, you are a gun addict or have been convicted of a major crime; and you have to submit to a background check before you plunk down your money on a shiny Smith & Wesson. Beyond that, it’s up to the states to say whether you can conceal a gun, own super-size magazines or buy a bunch of rifles at once.

You face a mighty challenge sorting out these state laws for your readers with an infographic. I’ve found that the best way is to select your topic first—say, background checks at gun shows—and then compile a list of which states regulate it and to what degree. I used to get this info from The Brady Campaign, but then I discovered that they get their material from the Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence.

The Law Center keeps very good, up-to-date lists of state gun laws. You can find them here: http://smartgunlaws.org/search-gun-law-by-gun-policy/

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Gay rights

October 12, 2011 § Leave a comment


I usually turn to Human Rights Campaign for chart data on gay rights, so I was happy to learn a couple of new sources from this New York Times graphic, which ran on Oct. 8, 2011, with this story on same-sex marriage in Portugal: http://www.nytimes.com/2011/10/09/opinion/sunday/bruni-same-sex-marriage-in-portugal.html
The first is Freedom to Marry http://www.freedomtomarry.org/resources/all/c/international, which offers info on gay marriage around the world. The second is the ILGA http://ilga.org/, which provides info on countries that punish couples for being gay.

Arab-Latin mashup

September 5, 2011 § Leave a comment


A crazy mashup of Middle-Eastern and Latin styles has emerged from the infographics coming out of the Emirates. Peruvian designer Luis Chumpitaz, at the Arab Media group, lies at the heart of this trend. Check out his portfolio: http://www.onemoregraphic.com/

Gallup daily poll on economic conditions

August 10, 2011 § Leave a comment

Each day, Gallup polls Americans on how they view economic conditions. The percentage saying the economy is poor shot up by 10 points around the time of the congressional battle over raising the debt ceiling.

http://www.gallup.com/poll/110821/Gallup-Daily-US-Economic-Conditions.aspx

You can download the data and build your own chart. Unfortunately, these figures only go back to 2009, so they don’t capture the period before the recession that began in December 2007. I suspect you could get older figures by contacting Gallup directly.

S&P sovereign credit ratings

August 6, 2011 § Leave a comment

Standard and Poors just downgraded the U.S. credit rating a few hours before I posted this, so I haven’t seen any news graphics posted about this subject. But you can go to this link to see where the U.S. ratings stand compared with other countries. The down grade puts us below Canada, on par with Belgium and above Japan.
http://www.standardandpoors.com/ratings/sovereigns/ratings-list/en/us?sectorName=Governments&subSectorCode=39

The ratings bring the U.S. credit-worthiness from “extremely strong” to “very strong” based on its political and economic profile, which I find kind of funny despite the seriousness of the situation.

Debt limit

July 17, 2011 § Leave a comment

debt limit wall street journal
On the same day, the Wall Street Journal and the Washington Post published graphics highlighting tough choices the federal government would need to make if the debt ceiling isn’t raised by Aug. 2: The U.S. would need to decide which bills to pay and which to skip. The Wall Street Journal’s graphic is above and the Washington Post’s is below.
washington post debt limit
The Washington Post also published an interactive graphic in which the user can chose which federal bills to pay with the limited funds that would be available.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/special/politics/federal-debt-limit-you-choose-who-gets-paid/?hpid=z2

Both publications turned to a recent analysis by the Bipartisan Policy Center, which estimated daily receipts and payments based on publicly available data from daily Treasury statements. The report provides specificity that brings home what this crisis could mean for our country.

http://www.bipartisanpolicy.org/library/staff-paper/debt-limit-analysis

bipartisan policy center debt limit analysis

Who holds Greek debt?

July 4, 2011 § 1 Comment

With Greece heading toward default on its debt, many news organizations are looking at who would pick up the tab. This New York Times chart breaks down how much Greek debt each country holds. The data comes from the Bank for International Settlements, which coordinates international financial services regulations and serves as a bank for central banks.

The BIS maintains a vast menu of statistics, so here is the exact location where you would find these figures:

Go to the BIS site’s Consolidated Banking Statistics page (http://www.bis.org/statistics/consstats.htm.)
Scroll down to the bottom, where you will see a link to Table 9E Foreign exposures on selected individual countries, ultimate risk basis. Note that not all countries will be listed in the data.

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