A few weeks ago I noted my attempt to obtain a presidential travel database from the White House via the Freedom of Information Act. Fail:
How The American Diet Has Changed Since 1980
Thanks to the U.S. Census Bureau, I learned this week that Americans eat on average about 21 pounds of rice each year — and they wash it down with about 13 pounds of ice cream, apparently. I wondered, what else do Americans eat, and how has that changed over time? Using the bureau’s “Per Capita Consumption of Major Food Commodities” report, I created this treemap, which...
Another View of ONA
Yesterday I posted a map that used proportional symbols to visualize the home cities of Online News Association conference attendees. Today’s version uses great circles to map the routes attendees took to Boston (assuming they had direct flights, of course). Red lines represent more attendees from a location: Inspired by Nathan Yau’s great tutorial. (Thanks also, Nathan, for...
Mapping ONA Attendees
More than 1,000 people were on the attendee list for last weekend’s Online News Association convention in Boston, according to a list the organizers graciously released. The data weren’t perfect. Only about 3 in 4 attendees listed their home cities. Of them, about 650 were from the United States. As you can see in this map, the Northeast drew a heavy contingent, with Washington,...
Andy Carvin Twitter Archive
Using Tableau Public, my NPR colleague Andy Carvin visualized thousands of his tweets about the Arab Spring: View larger, interactive version
Real-Time UARS Tracking
As you may have noticed, a large NASA satellite is expected to crash into the earth sometime this week, but fortunately not in DC, according to the Post’s Joel Achenbach: This just in: Washington will be spared when the NASA satellite UARS crashes to Earth. So will Manhattan. Indeed, the entire East Coast of the U.S. looks safe as I examine the projected crash map. This isn’t class...
Charting 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' Discharges Over...
The military’s “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy ended today, eliminating a practice that led to more than 13,000 service member discharges since 1993. Its enforcement has been in decline since the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, according to unofficial stats from Wikipedia: See larger, interactive version | Made with Tableau Public
Comparing Obama's Presidential Approval Rating
More bad news for President Obama, via CBS News: As concerns about the struggling U.S. economy grow, a new CBS News/New York poll finds that President Obama’s overall approval rating has dropped to 43 percent, the lowest so far of his presidency in CBS News polling. In addition, his disapproval rating has reached an all-time high of 50 percent. Gallup now has a approval rating tracker...
Mapping U.S. Aid Overseas
The U.S. has doled out more than $400 billion in economic and military assistance to other counties since 1946, according to this table on Data.gov. Top recipients: Israel ($34 billion), Iraq ($33 billion), Egypt ($30 billion), Afghanistan ($15 billion), India ($15 billion), Russia ($14 billion), Pakistan ($14 billion), Colombia ($9 billion), Vietnam ($8 billion), United Kingdom ($7 billion). ...
A Rough Year For RIM
Not a good day today for BlackBerry maker Research In Motion, according to this Bloomberg piece: Research In Motion Ltd. plunged in extended trading after missing analysts’ estimates as sales of aging BlackBerry smartphone models slowed and the company shipped fewer PlayBook tablet computers than projected. … RIM, based in Waterloo, Ontario, fell as much as $5.75, or 19 percent, to...
Comparing National Obesity
I just noticed this cool tool by Alex Perez on Data.gov that maps and charts American obesity by county. His interactive uses proportional symbols and colors to visualizes differences between, with larger bubble and darker reds representing increased obesity rates. Here’s Louisiana: Selecting a county (or, in this case, a parish) highlights its corresponding distribution on scatter plots...
Mapping American Poverty
A national map prompted by today’s news about Americans in poverty: WASHINGTON — The portion of Americans living in poverty last year rose to the highest level since 1993, the Census Bureau reported Tuesday, fresh evidence that the sluggish economic recovery has done nothing for the country’s poorest citizens. View larger version Source: American Community Survey | Previously:...
9/11: In A Word
My colleagues at NPR put together this interesting interactive visualizing one-word feelings about 9/11 then and now:
DC vs. Austin Weather: Part 2
Back in May I compared the weather in my former town, Austin, Texas, to my current home, Washington, DC. Now that I’ve lived through a summer here, I’ve revisited the topic with two simple line charts. This first chart shows monthly averages. As you can see, Austin experienced 100-degree average high temperatures in July and August (with little rain), setting the stage for the...
Union Membership by State
In the early 1970s, one in four American workers belong to a labor union. Last year, they represented about 12 percent of the workforce, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. This map shows membership by state, with darker shades representing higher proportions of the workforce in unions. North Carolina has the lowest percentage of union workers: 3.2 percent. New York has the highest:...
It's Easy to Draw Your Own Google Correlations
I’m a big fan of Google Correlate, a service that lets you spot real-word trends through Internet users’ searches. For example, search traffic for the term “lose weight” spikes around New Year’s Day: A friend this morning told me about a new feature allowing anyone to draw random distributions on a line graph — and then see others’ correlated searches. You...
Analyzing Two Rick Perry Speeches: 1998 vs. 2011
I stumbled upon Texas Gov. Rick Perry’s announcement speech from his 1998 race for lieutenant governor, arguably my former state’s most powerful political job. Back then, his candidacy centered on “safe streets, effective schools, and economic opportunity.” Here are the top 50 most used words in the speech (made in Aggie Maroon for Perry’s alma mater). Texas,...
FOIA-ing the White House
Last month I filed a Freedom of Information Act request with the White House asking for a list of President Obama’s official trips since he took office. I’m seeking the data not for my day job, but as a personal visualization opportunity (and because presidential travel guru Mark Knoller won’t share his famous database with me). Under the Freedom of Information Act, I’m...
Florida Teacher Pay
A map for our NPR project, StateImpact: This map visualizes how much the average teacher’s salary has changed since the 2007-08 school year. Darker reds represent deeper pay cuts, while darker greens represent larger salary increases. Click on individual counties to see more specific information about their teachers’ average salaries. Full-screen version