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(Science) Information is Beautiful - Part 3

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

November 7, 2014

This is the third of four posts about the shortlisted works to the “Information is Beautiful” awards 2014 concerning content related to science or technology. This post is dedicated to the identification of works submitted under the category of interactive. You can check the previous ones here and here.

Among these works you can find different kinds techniques used for visualization (maps, pictograms…), as well as distinct issues, such as the comparison of men and women in science careers and science education in the world; tree preservation in the US, or the mapping of information regarding floods and temperatures in the same country. You can also find an interactive viz comparing divergences in medical diagnostic of black lung disease in miners, a case of conflict of interest.


Nine Cities that Love Their Trees—and What They’re Doing about it – National Geographic Society

Trees have an important function as “lungs” of a city, sound buffers, shade providers, shelter for birds and many more. Recognizing this importance, several american cities are working to preserve them. In this context, National Geographic produced an interactive map illustrating the tree cover in some american cities. Pittsburgh is the most “green” of them all, with 42% of tree cover.


Women in Science – FFunction

This interactive visualization “illustrates the extent to which the scientific community is losing a talented workforce “[1] – women.

It allows the reader to explore information about the gender gap in STEM education and researcher career. Data referring to the United States or Canada are not available due to different methods used to measure the indicators across these two countries and the others that are included in the visualization.


Breathless and Burdened: X-Ray Readings Compared – The Center for Public Integrity

This interactive visualization of x-ray results allows the reader to simultaneously compare the diagnose of Dr. Paul Wheeler (physician connected to the coal industry) with the one given by other physicians with regard to the existence of pulmonary disease in miners. The visualization is very clear in communicating the huge disparity of results and the delays in the judicial system regarding these cases. Another aspect I find interesting is that the reader can get precise information of each case by clicking on each dot, thus each dot not only represents one of many miners (as a number) but a specific individual, with specific information.


U.S. Daily Temperature Anomalies, 1964-2014 – Enigma

This interactive visualization was produced by Enigma, a data website where you can find a collection of public data, specially  about climate change.

The visualization about temperature anomalies in USA is based on data of north american weather stations, collected from NOAA’s FTP server. The production team used that information to compute the range of temperatures of each month of every year (from 1964 to 2013) and defined what was considered an anomaly (“If one or both of these measurements fell in the bottom or top 2% on a given day, we labeled it an “anomaly” ” [2])

Iowa Flood Information System – Ibrahim Demir

The Iowa Flood Information System (IFIS) was developed at the University of Iowa and is a web platform that provides flood related information, data and applications. Data is obtained by IFC bridge sensors, USGS stream gauges, NEXRAD radars, and NWS forecasts. This platform gives access to general, as well as detailed information about flood warnings, stream conditions or inundation maps, hoping to help reduce the damages of floods.

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.