Jerry Mander

par_mander_01Since this is an article about gerrymandering, I thought I’d go with a clever, catchy title like Jerry Mander. Ha! But.. it turns out he is a real guy (pictured on the right) with real crazy hair and has written a book about the dangers of television. He also wrote a book about the flaws of capitalism. I get a sense he is just against things (including combs). This article is actually about the other kind of gerrymandering:

n. The practice of redrawing electoral districts to gain an electoral advantage for a political party.

You can read all about gerrymandering online. Its not a new practice. The picture below was published when the term was first coined in 1812.

The_Gerry-Mander_Edit

What I’m wanting to show here is how this relates to a South African context. With the next municipal elections coming up soon, its interesting to see how our electoral system implements the notion of voters vs. voting district. Continue reading “Jerry Mander”

Cities of Glass

I love the idea of real world, physical implementations of data visualisation. We spend so much time behind the screen that it is really easy to just ignore something new and move on. But when its IRL, you can look at it from different angles, you can touch it and just experience the data differently. This post on hyperallergic is of a glass sculpture by Norwood Viviano that shows the big cities of the world changing overtime. Continue reading “Cities of Glass”

The Wedding Photographer Problem

Jason posted yet another awesome edition of the Naked Data newsletter (which you should all definitely be reading). In this particular issue (#75) there is article entitled: Automatically generate beautiful visualisations from your data. Although there is a lot of snark in that title, the author is basically saying that good data visualisation is difficult and requires someone with training and experience if you want a decent end product. Continue reading “The Wedding Photographer Problem”

HTML Music Visualiser using D3

I have always dream of a world where all interactive software would work via the browser. But we still have people clinging to their desktop and mobile apps like some weird guy who believes the best years were when he was still in high school in the 80’s. An all browser world will use one programming language and is platform independent. Mostly.. Apart from when it isn’t. While we have a lot of web stuff now, some components have remained firmly out of reach and one that I have often wanted to experiment with is audio. Enter the <audio> tag. Continue reading “HTML Music Visualiser using D3”

The Infographic Awakens

Since we are still in the grips of Star Wars frenzy (and the various problems in the world that need solving will still be there in tomorrow), Bloomberg created an infographic showing the use of the Force across all 7 Star Wars films. I like the adherence to the colour scheme and, since the data doesn’t actually matter, this if form over function that works well.

Colour Palettes for Data Visualizations

When creating a data visualisation, one the worst ways to encode the differences between values is to use changes in colour. Whether going from light to dark or changing between two colours, our brains are not particularly good at determining how big the difference is and for small differences, we may not notice it at all. Continue reading “Colour Palettes for Data Visualizations”