Katelyn M. Thompson's Blog

The United States of Shame / The United States of Awesome

Posted in Information Visualization by kmtom on February 22, 2011

A little while back I posted a map of The United States of Autocomplete. I now present you with two new interpretations of a map of the US. These are the things states are the worst at (from pleated jeans) and what your state does really well (from Political Language). I’m a born and bred Masshole Massachusett and I am guilty/proud of embodying both what Mass is worst at (bad driving) and what Mass is good at (college graduates).

It’s funny to see how some of them match.

NY (clearly influenced by NYC): Worst Daily Commute = Awesome Transit Use.
Utah: Most Liberalized Prostitution Laws = Worst Crime
North Carolina: Worst Teacher Salaries = Best Value University
Michigan: Best Freshwater Access = Highest Unemployment

via FlowingData


Don’t Touch That!

Posted in Information Visualization by kmtom on February 18, 2011

You’ll get your fingerprints all over my …….!

Well, George Kokkinidis at Design Language News decided that he was going to do just that! He wiped clean his iPad and started using an app (being sure to get his fingerprints on the screen) and then photographed his fingerprints on the screen.

Can you tell what apps he’s using in these two examples?

Hit the jump to see the answer and the rest of the apps.


Analyzing the Digital Maps

Posted in Information Visualization, Usability by kmtom on February 16, 2011

Came across this great article on 41Latitude which compares Google Maps’ labels (left) with Bing (right) and MapQuest. It’s interesting to compare the maps side to side. I strictly use Google Maps, for not only a better mapping service, but also because it’s just easier!

The author’s first hypothesis is that Google Maps has a lesser density of labels when compared to the other maps. However, when looking at the area shown above, Google had 86 city labels, Bing had 91, and MapQuest had 83. So that is not the reason for GMap’s superiority.

One of the 3 reasons Justin O’Beirne gives for the Google Maps’ legibility is the fact that they have non-opaque white outlines around the labels. The images below show Google Maps (left) and MapQuest.

As you can see, Yahoo!’s decision to allow background map information to remain visible underneath its city labels harms their overall legibility. Individual letters are broken up by other dark lines, forcing users to give a second look to many labels.

The second reason he gives is the greater number of “classes” of labels for cities. (Think CSS headings). Google maps has 4 different sizes of labels while Bing and MapQuest only have 3. The third reason he gives is the fact that the smaller labels are shown in a lighter color, which makes them fade slightly into the background.

Additionally, a few “tricks” are pointed out – not necessarily related to the labels – that help with Google Maps’ readability. The first is label decluttering around major metropolitan areas, basically smaller suburbs aren’t shown. Also, Google displays city markers further apart than Bing (not that it is moving cities, just that it is showing cities that are father apart from each other). 

In conclusion, Google Maps is better. Although I guess I should Bing has addressed some of the issues pointed out in the critique.

via ChartPorn

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A Loooook at the Movies of 2010

Posted in Information Visualization by kmtom on January 10, 2011

Here’s to a looooooooook at the movies [for those of you not from Western Mass this is a line from Sy Becker] of 2010. This infographic from xach.com shows the top grossing films in the box office from week to week.

via Cool Infographics

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Word Trends

Posted in Information Visualization by kmtom on January 8, 2011

Google Books Ngram Viewer allows you to show the trend of words used in “lots of books”. It’s interesting to see trends in our society through books.

Trend of radio, television, Internet.

via FlowingData

The United States of Autocomplete

Posted in Information Visualization by kmtom on January 7, 2011

Very Small Array has created a map of the United States which includes one of the suggested autocomplete phrases that comes up after typing in that state. It’s not clear if they were the first ones or specifically selected ones. The comments on the post indicate that a lot of people had different suggestions, but the idea is still really cool!

Map of the United States of Autocomplete.

via FlowingData

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2010-2011 NBA Schedule Visualized

Posted in Information Visualization by kmtom on December 14, 2010

I consider myself to be a sports fan. Basketball, however, isn’t one of my top sports to watch. BUT, I came across this really cool visualization done by NBAStuffer.com of the home and away games and the streak of them that the teams face. I wonder how this is determined and how it will effect the teams’ win/loss.

via ChartPorn

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Hand Signals – Illustrated

Posted in Information Visualization by kmtom on December 13, 2010

Over on YouFail they’ve illustrated some of the many hand signals in our culture.

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Santa Supply/Demand Curve

Posted in Information Visualization by kmtom on December 12, 2010

In college we were required to take macro and micro economics. I really enjoyed the classes and the professor that I had for both of them. Came across this great S/D graph for Santas featured in Sketchy Santa: A Lighter Look at the Darker Side of St. Nick. However, instead of supply, they refer to the “sketch-i-ness” factor. As demand for Santas increase, the sketchiness of the Santas also increase.

…the number of Santas available and a parent’s desire to have their children see St. Nick in a timely manner, loosely determines the potential sketchiness of Santas in your area. As demand (D) increases, you can expect a corresponding increase in quantity (Q) or available Santas and the sketchiness (S) of any given Santa.

P.S. If you need a refresher on Supply & Demand curves, visit Mike On Ads

via SwissMiss

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Who Am I? [Droid Does]

Posted in Information Visualization, My Rambles by kmtom on November 22, 2010

I am 18-24. I never had a smartphone. I spend most of my time on Twitter [Twidroyd]. I prefer Swype to a physical keyboard. I’ve spent $0 on Android apps. I have 90 apps (everything under the apps button). I’ve never made a purchase or payment on my phone. I play Solitare and Jewels.

Mobclix shows how I measure up:

via @KatieMartell

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