(Roughly) Daily

Posts Tagged ‘infographics

“Earth is a small town with many neighborhoods in a very big universe”*…

… full of very large objects. From @nealagarwal, a scroll-able comparison of the size of the objects that surround us in in the universe: “Size of Space.”

(Listen to outer space here.)

For other nifty visualizations, visit his site and check out, e.g., “The Deep Sea.”

* Ron Garan

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As we internalize insignificance, we might send distantly-observed birthday greetings to Harlow Shapley; he was born on this date in 1885. An astronomer known as “the Modern Copernicus,” he did important work first at the Mt. Wilson Observatory, and then as head of the Harvard College Observatory. He boldly and correctly proclaimed that the globulars outline the Galaxy, and that the Galaxy is far larger than was generally believed and centered thousands of light years away in the direction of Sagittarius: he discovered of the center of our Galaxy, and of our position within it.

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Written by (Roughly) Daily

November 2, 2020 at 1:01 am

“There is a magic in graphs”*…

A New Chart of History
Joseph Priestley 1769, London
illustrates the succession of empires to give students a more global view of history across space and time. Vertical space indicates each empire’s significance, as assigned by Priestley. Click here for zoomable version

Data visualization leapt from its Enlightenment origins and into the minds of the general public in the 1760s. It cast more powerful spells throughout the following century. By 1900, modern science, technology, and social movements had all benefited from this new quantitative art. Its inventions include the timeline, bar chart, and thematic map. Together, these innovations changed how we understand the world and our place within it. Data visualization helped a new imagination emerge, wired to navigate a reality much bigger than any single person’s lived experience…

From the introduction to Stanford Library’s (more specifically, the David Rumsey Map Center‘s; @DavidRumseyMaps) glorious exhibition “Data Visualization and the Modern Imagination,” curated by R.J. Andrews (@infowetrust).

Visit the exhibition here.

* Henry D. Hubbard, in the preface to Graphic Presentation

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As we show and tell, we might recall that it was on this date in 1908 that Henry Winzeler founded the Ohio Art Company. Ohio Art began by offering metal picture frames, but soon settled into into two lines of business: toys (e.g., windmills and a climbing monkey) and custom metal lithography products for food container and specialty premium markets.

Those two themes merged in the very late 1950s, when Ohio Art acquired the rights to French electrician André CassagnesL’Écran Magique (The Magic Screen)– a drawing toy that allowed users to spin knobs to create line drawings, which could be erased by by turning the device upside down and shaking it. Ohio Art renamed it the Etch A Sketch… and it went on to sell over 100 million units and to earn a place in the National Toy Hall of Fame.

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Written by (Roughly) Daily

October 6, 2020 at 1:01 am

“Wherever you are right now, you’re just taking a break”*…

BTS

All seven members of boy band BTS have become multimillionaires after their label, Big Hit Entertainment, pulled off South Korea’s biggest stock market listing in three years. The K-pop label is issuing its shares at 135,000 won ($115) each, Big Hit said in a filing on Monday, raising 962.55 million won ($822 million) and valuing the company at 4.8 trillion won ($4.1 billion). That makes the deal South Korea’s largest stock offering since July 2017, according to data compiled by Dealogic…

CNN

K-Pop is huge, generating huge sales and cultural impact around the world. But what, readers of a certain age might ask, is K-Pop? And why are the groups so large? Our friends at The Pudding ride to the rescue:

Try typing “Why are K-pop groups…” into Google search and autocomplete offers several suggestions: “…so large,” “…so big” and “…so popular.” The rapid global growth of Korean music over the past decade has puzzled non-fans (and even experts), and it seems that the size of K-pop groups might be a mystery, too.

Traditionally, rock bands have as many members as there are instruments: a lead singer, two guitarists, and a drummer. Popular Western boy groups—like The Jackson Five, New Kids on the Block, Boyz II Men, Backstreet Boys, N*Sync, The Jonas Brothers, One Direction—and girl groups—like The Supremes, Destiny’s Child, TLC, The Spice Girls, and Little Mix—have ranged in size from 3-5 members. Compared to those numbers, K-pop groups with 7 or 9, or even 23 members (yes, a group that big exists) might seem alien, or downright excessive. And yet the average size of the top 10 selling K-pop groups of the last decade (like girl group TWICE, pictured above) is 9 members.

So, how did groups get that large? What about large groups is so appealing? And, what do the sizes of K-pop groups tell us about why K-pop is so popular?

To answer those questions, we tracked trends in group sizes and member roles over modern K-pop’s 30-year history, breaking the numbers down across the industry’s three generations of artists…

Elegant infographics explain: “Why are K-pop groups so big?

* BTS

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As we ponder popularity, we might recall that it was on this date in 1976, during Saturday Night Live‘s second season, that musical guest Joe Cocker performed his hit version of Traffic‘s “Feelin’ Alright.” In the event, the audience got not one Cocker, but two, as an identically-dressed John Belushi (already noted for his Cocker impression) came out with Joe for the full live performance. The two traded lines and successfully mirrored each other –a testament to both Cocker’s trademark stage presence and Belushi’s remarkable impersonation abilities. New York’s own jazz-funk heroes Stuff (hence the shirts in the video) backed them up.

Written by (Roughly) Daily

October 2, 2020 at 1:01 am

“Facts are stubborn things, but statistics are pliable”*…

 

FL covid

 

Data visualizations that make no sense...

cheese

weather

flights

work from home

More at “WTF Visualizations.”

* Mark Twain

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As we celebrate clarity, we might spare a thought for the mathematician, biologist, historian of science, literary critic, poet, and inventor Jacob Bronowski; he died on this date in 1974.  Bronowski is probably best remembered as the writer (and host) of the epochal 1973 BBC television documentary series (and accompanying book), The Ascent of Man (the title of which was a play on the title of Darwin’s second book on evolution, The Descent of Man)… the thirteen-part series, a survey of the history of science–  from rock tools to relativity– and its place in civilizations, is still an extraordinary treat.  It’s available at libraries, on DVD, or (occasionally) on streaming services.

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“Maps codify the miracle of existence”*…

 

Forgotten maps

 

Several years ago, I stumbled on a map so shocking to my modern workaday sensibilities that I couldn’t quite believe my eyes. “Oh, zounds, look at this old thing,” I almost certainly thought.

map

We live in a time when the data visualization establishment will have you know that pie charts are garbage graphics only to be employed by foolhardy amateurs. Similarly, your friendly neighborhood Carto-vigilante will put you on notice for allowing something as vile as overlapping symbols to appear on a map. Occlusion be gone! 🙅‍♀️️🗺🙅‍♂

But there was a time when people made and proudly shared maps of all kinds with relative impunity. And I believed I’d found one of them. After all, it had overlapping… pie charts! So, I took to Twitter, declared it a “forgotten map type,and went to bed.

Years (and countless throwaway tweets) later, I stumbled on that map again (so much for being “forgotten,” eh?) and pointed out its goofy New York label. In response, Toph Tucker noted he’d searched my timeline for more “forgotten map types” and come up empty. His comment was, simply, “well this is disappointing….

Fair.

So, I slowly amassed a more complete list…

Revel in geographer Tim Wallace‘s (@wallacetim) “Forgotten Map Types.” (And/or access them here.)

* Nicholas Crane, Mercator: The Man Who Mapped the Planet

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As we find our way, we might spare a thought for a cartographer of a different sort: Claude Elwood Shannon; he died on this date in 2001.  A mathematician, electrical engineer, and cryptographer, he is known as “the father of information theory,” of which he was the original architect.  But he is also remembered for his contributions to digital circuit design theory and for his cryptanalysis work during World War II, both as a codebreaker and as a designer of secure communications systems.

220px-ClaudeShannon_MFO3807 source

 

Written by (Roughly) Daily

February 27, 2020 at 1:01 am

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