Data Driven Digest for February 20

Each Friday we share some favorite reporting on, and examples of, data driven visualizations and embedded analytics that came onto our radar in the past week.



In With The Sheep: Millions of people travel to be with their families for Lunar New Year, and Chinese internet firm Baidu has visualized that travel within China via an amazing interactive map. The data is generated by the 350 million users of Baidu’s location-enabled mobile apps. We’ve posted a frozen-in-time version, but click through for the full interactive map that tracks people moving throughout the country by various modes of travel and that lets you rewind to any day and hour over the holiday week.


sounmap largerSound map: For the last ten years, the U.S. National Park Service has been listening to its parks. Why? Because scientists know that sound – both natural and human-made – affects wildlife behavior. Data from 1.5 million hours of recordings from more than 600 spots around the country have been condensed into the map above, presented by Kurt Fristrup at the American Association for the Advancement of Science annual meeting this past week in San Jose, California. (Here’s the abstract of his presentation.) Deep blue is quiet and bright yellow is loud, creating a fast-reading visualization that tells its story clearly.


Good deal: Heading to your Friday night poker game after work? Don’t invite Chris Beaumont, creator of the data visualization above; he might clean your clock with data. Beaumont’s grid compares the strength of one hand (eight of hearts and queen of spades) against all other hands in a game of Texas Hold ’em; blue indicates a strong hand, while red means trouble. The grid is great in itself, but two awesome things await those who click through: It is mouseover-enabled so you can explore the specific odds of each combination, and you can plug in any hand and run the same comparison. (There are about 1.3 trillion possible Texas Hold ‘em hands, Beaumont says; I don’t plan to check his work.) Plus, this is just one of four poker visualizations he’s posted at the same site.


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