Data Visualization 101: Scatter Plots

In our Data Visualization 101 series, we cover each chart type to help you sharpen your data visualization skills.

Scatter plots have been called the “most versatile, polymorphic, and generally useful invention in the history of statistical graphics” (Journal of the History of the Behavioral Sciences, 2005). That’s a big claim, but just as their name implies, they can take a confusing and scattered set of data and make sense of it. As such, these plots are much more than a visualization tool; they are a discovery tool. Let’s look at what makes the scatter plot so good.

What Major Writes the Longest Master’s Thesis?

Even if you don’t count the research that goes into it, writing a master’s thesis is a whole lot of work. So. Many. Pages. But are all majors equally lengthy? Marcus Beck of R is My Friend has the answer in this visualization of masters’ theses from different fields, arranged by average page length.

Medical Chemistry, and Science Technology and Environmental Policy top the list with average lengths well over 100 pages. On the short end of the scale is Clinical Research, having average page lengths of around 25.

Visualizing the Movements of Chess Pieces Using Millions of Games

Every chess piece has a signature footprint after millions of moves. Using the 2.2 million chess games stored at Million Base, Steve Tung has visualized the movements of individual chess pieces across the board. Each of his images reveal that unique footprint and some of the most popular strategies used during a normal game.

This Visualization Will Help You Understand the Unbelievable Number of People Lost in WWII

The Fallen of World War II is a documentary visualization that gives us a heartrending perspective of the casualties lost during the conflict. Created by filmmaker Neil Halloran, the 18-minute short breaks down the war’s tragedies, stacking them into a sobering tally of the people who lost their lives.

With numbers reaching into the tens of millions, it is difficult to comprehend the magnitude of the war, or how it compares to the conflicts of today. But with Halloran’s exceptional comparisons and storytelling, the magnitude of World War II is made clear.

What’s the Best Way to Call Out Polluters and Advertise Your Air Filter Company? Try Projecting Crying Babies on Smog.

Chinese Premier Li Keqiang declared a war on pollution last year, but despite efforts the problem continues to grow, leaving hundreds of thousands of citizens dead annually due to poor air quality. For their Breath Again campaign, Chinese air filter company Xiao Zhu took an unconventional approach to advertising their product and called out some of the countries biggest polluters in the the process. They did it by projecting crying babies on clouds of pollution.

What’s the Most Mentioned Car in Rap Music? It’s Not an Impala.

Luxury cars have always been a staple element in rap music. Snoop Dogg waxed lyrical about his ’64 Impala in ‘Still A G Thang’, and The Game has dropped seven major car brands into the songs he writes – but what car is the most popular? Medium crunched the numbers on lyrics from Rap Genius, and came up with the lowdown on what cars, and car brands top the rap world – and it’s not an Impala.

ONDU: A Pinhole Camera Launching With a Very Snappy Campaign

When it comes to getting projects off the ground, there’s nothing like Kickstarter. But, when it comes to Kickstarter, there’s nothing more important than a good campaign. ONDU is one of those projects. Elvis and Benjamin Halilović are the two brothers behind the slick little pinhole camera that combines good design with top-notch production to create a campaign that’s going sky high – already crushing their $20k funding goal by over $60k. Let’s look at a few aspects of this Kickstarter campaign that make it really snap.

Be Emperor of the Penguins with Daniel Rozin’s Bizarre New ‘Mirror’

We just covered Daniel Rozin and his collection of bizarre interactive ‘mirrors’ a few weeks ago, but this new creation can’t be missed. His ‘Penguins Mirror’ let’s you be emperor of the penguins – just stand in front of all 450 motorized stuffed animals and they turn their white bellies towards you reflecting your silhouette. Is it brilliant or just absurd? Probably the best of both, and a really good laugh too.

Michael Pecirno’s Minimalist Maps Reveal the Hidden Landscapes of America

London-based designer Michael Pecirno creates minimalist maps in an ongoing project to understand the landscape of the world. His work is exploratory, using a decidedly narrow set of data to see the unique patterns it creates across the land. In each case, the map is drawn with data points, leaving traditional physical and political borders to our imagination.

CONSTRVCT: Design Your Own Digitally Printed Fashion

There’s giving your customers what they want, and then there’s letting them do it themselves. CONSTRVCT is a forward thinking clothing company that recently built a 3D design tool to let just about anyone create custom clothing prints, even using their own imagery. It’s digitally printed fashion for the digital age.