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(Science) Information is Beautiful - Part 2

The second of four posts about the finalists of one of the world's top data viz competitions

October 31, 2014

This is the second post of a series of four posts dedicated to works competing for the Information is Beautiful awards of 2014. In case you missed it, here’s my first selection.

Specifically, this post is dedicated to science and technology works presented under the category of Data Visualization.

From the projects listed below, I highlight the “Visualize Pi” mural because it is the only one on this list that has a strong purpose of engaging the students’ community to use data visualization in an innovative way.


Green Nudge – Energy Visualization – WizArts Inc

The “Green Nudge” resulted of a collaboration between WizArts and the University of Copenhagen. The goal was to stimulate a reduction of energy consumption, and WizArts do it using gamification with a social element as a dataviz solution. This project is particularly interesting because “it is not a question about the viability of visualization in regards to a more energy-conscious behavior; it is a question about how the visualization will be manifested”[1].


Weather Radials Poster – Timm Kekeritz

The 2013 Weather Radials poster allows the reader to understand how the weather varied during each day of the year (each day is represented by a line). The reader can have access to information about the temperature (in each line), the precipitation (in blue circles), and also have a generalized idea of how the weather changed during the year (by looking at the entire weather radial) or how it differs from city to city. This is an example of weather visual storytelling concerning data of 34 cities (New York, Hong Kong, London, São Paulo, etc.)


Tumourmonger – Tobias Sturt

This is a visual representation of things that cure or cause cancer, according to the articles of the Daily Mail. It was produced using  a crowd sourced index of news articles of the mentioned newspaper to obtain the data. It is interesting to notice how some items are said to both cure and cause cancer, such as wine or the contraceptive pill. I find this a very clear way of presenting results of content analysis of documents such as newspaper articles.


Visualize Pi Noise – Ellie Balk and Nathan Affield

“Visualize Pi noise” is a mural project that engages students to connect with both math and the local community by means of data visualization. Specifically, students work with the professionals Ellie Balk and Nathan Affield to explore the sound and visual representation of Pi. 

This is a kickstarter project that managed to be funded last april. It’s worth taking a look at it here.


In orbit but hardly alone – ONLAB

This is another onlab project submitted to the competition “Information is Beautiful” awards 2014. It was developed for the science magazine of the Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne and has the goal of rising awareness for the numerous satellites that are currently orbiting earth and make clear that there is a need do start cleaning space debris, which is the goal of the future satellite of the Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne, to be launched in 2018.


What is Wikipedia about? Paul-Antoine Chevalier and Arnaud Picandet

This is a data visualization project made by two team members of Ask Média agency. It shows the distribution of the 10,568,679 items on Wikipedia, sorted by type, as it is described in the picture above. 

The size of the circles are proportional to the number of item entries in wikipedia related to the concept that is circled and the branches represent the main categories associated with a concept, as you can be see in the detail below:


Written by Susana Pereira

Susana Simões Pereira, maths teacher and PhD in science teaching and communication. I enjoy games and photography and I'm passionate for science and art, specially when together in the same context. You can follow my updates on Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook.