July 17, 2011 § Leave a comment
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.
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.
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.
June 16, 2011 § Leave a comment
This scatterplot from Nate Silver’s FiveThirtyEight blog at the New York Times (http://fivethirtyeight.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/06/02/on-the-maddeningly-inexact-relationship-between-unemployment-and-re-election/) suggests there is no correlation between unemployment and a president’s re-election chances. I haven’t seen many news charts that set out to show a lack of correlation, but in this case it’s compelling. I also haven’t seen many scatterplots where the horizonal axis sits in the middle of the chart rather than the bottom, but it worked here and you can follow the chart easily.
While this is a great chart, what I really want to point out is the source of the election results. (This is Seth’s Sources after all!) Rather than the Federal Election Commission or Politics in America or whatnot, they come from David Leip’s Atlas of U.S. Presidential Elections (http://uselectionatlas.org/) When I first stumbled onto this source many years ago, I thought it was too homegrown and unofficial to use as a primary source. My opinion changed quickly. That’s the crazy thing about the Internet: someone who begins a Web site as an enthusiast or hobbyist can end up building a more complete, accurate and useful set of data than anything offered by the government or major publishers. Time and again, media organizations turn to David Leip’s atlas for historical election stats.
The atlas provides stats back to 1789. In addition to standard vote counts, you can get the size of the voting age population, turnout as a percentage of voting age population or registered voters, number of invalid ballots and a number of other statistics.
December 28, 2009 § Leave a comment
Floor plans often make great infographic fodder. For instance, the Washington Post’s interactive White House corridors of power diagram provides a solid inside look at the Obama administration. (http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/politics/interactives/westwing/index.html)
Often a flat blueprint works fine, but sometimes you might want to take a more stylized approach. Using Illustrator’s 3D tools, you can make a quick-and-dirty extrusion of the blueprint’s walls (like in the White House example) without having to move into a raster 3D program.
Here is a decent tutorial on the Vector Tuts site that shows you how to make a simple 3D floor plan. http://vector.tutsplus.com/tutorials/illustration/how-to-create-a-3d-floorplan-in-illustrator.
Some of the numbers the author uses for rotation angles don’t seem to match what he’s showing, but he presents the basic concepts clearly.