Know Your Roots: Column Five Hometowns

In this digital age, we work and have contact with people who we’ve never met in person. The only thing we may know about them is through email exchanges, Twitter feeds, and maybe Instagram photos — if we’ve been lucky enough for even that. With face-to-face interaction giving way to online interactions, it’s still nice to humanize your company and team every once in a while. Column Five, our parent company, put together this interactive to show where everyone on their team was originally born, and how some 20+ years later they all ended up working together under the same roof.


Why Cities? Ending Climate Change Begins in the City

The climate change debate has been going on for years, with people on both sides of the fence arguing for its existence — and against it. It’s hard to argue or turn a blind eye to the fact that, as the world’s population continues to grow, cities are becoming more and more crowded and the day-to-day pollution put into the environment by humans is starting to have an effect on our world. The C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group (C40) is a network of the world’s mega cities committed to addressing climate change, and have a meaningful global impact. They have created this stellar interactive graphic to help spread the news.


The Prepaid Card Mine Field

Seriously, who doesn’t want a prepaid card sponsored by the self-proclaimed “best rapper alive” Lil’ Wayne, the hip-hop and clothing mogul Russell Simmons, or the internationally acclaimed personal finance expert Suze Orman? With these celebrity endorsements, prepaid cards have become big business – but are they really a solid investment? Most people think all they have to do is put money on the card, spend the money until it’s gone and then refill the card when you get around to it. But we know better than to think it’s really that easy, right?


Number of Babies Born On Every Day Of The Year

Some people really enjoy the holidays and get into the spirit. It’s a time to visit with family and relatives, drink some spiked eggnog, exchange gifts, and pass out on the sofa watching James Bond 007 marathons (why James Bond marathons are always on during the holidays we don’t understand, but fully support). Some people take having a little bit of fun and turn the nob up to 11, one wilder than 10. Cue your parents when they were dating… they enjoyed the holidays entirely and created you (too much information?).


Interactive Art Display That Dances With You

Visual experimental studio MADE debuts an interactive LED art installation “Future Self” that glows, reacts and even mimics anyone that comes near it. The outcome is a mirror image that transcends into 3D space. The concept for this installation was so new that not even the artist knew exactly what it would look like.


Invisible Children + Resolve: The LRA Crisis Tracker

The Invisible Children organization has set the internet ablaze this week with their newest KONY 2012 video — which went viral on YouTube, Twitter and Facebook — and has succeeded in its goal of making African war criminal, Joseph Kony, famous. From celebrity backers — Oprah, Kim Kardashian, Ryan Seacrest, and Rhianna to name a few  — Twitter updates, long winded Facebook rants, and critical assessments by Yale sociology professors, everyone is talking about it; and the reaction has been both good and bad.


In Caffeine We Trust: A Print to Track Your Consumption

What better companion in the cold winter months than a nice warm cup-a-joe? That black liquid warms us up, energizes and seems to even sweep the clouds away. For those of us who make it a daily ritual this new poster will be quite a tasty treat: created by Column Five, the print features three of the main staples that keep the company ticking: data, design and caffeine. The attractive black and white print is ‘interactive’, allowing you to track your coffee consumption and preferences over a month… coloring in the coffee themed data with some good old dark roast.

Share: An Interactive Look at Bach’s Prelude

The last time we mentioned Alexander Chen he had converted the New York subway map into an interactive stringed instrument. Continuing the musical theme, he’s now taken the iconic prelude to Bach’s Cello Suites No. 1 and made an interactive visualization you can mess around with until the tune’s completely “Baroque.” The orbiting dots pluck the strings, like a rotating music box. You can grab and throw the nodes off track using your pointer, then watch as they slowly regain their orbit and the tune its rhythm. See the video at the bottom or head to to play with history


Changing Forests: Interactive Map of Tree Losses

The rapid decline of forests around the world is having an impact on local environments and the world as a whole. This sobering graphic by The New York Times brings home the impact of both the ancient forests we have lost, and the recent deforestation worldwide due to logging for timber, clearing farmland and even making toilet paper. As the Times reports, the “world’s 9.9 billion acres of forest absorb roughly a quarter of human emissions of carbon dioxide, and help limit the increase of the gas in the atmosphere.” As our world continues to heat up, even by small increments, will we see further forests lost to climate change?


Changing Fortune: Explore the Fortune 500 from 1955

This highly informative and interactive graphic looks at the ups and downs of the successful American companies on the Fortune 500 list, all the way back to 1955. It’s been a wild and exciting ride. Ben Fry, the pieces creator, was inspired to create the graphic when he ran across a huge set of data tracking the famous index: he challenged himself to come up with a way of displaying those 84,000 data points in an easily viewed and navigated interactive piece. We think he did an excellent and informative job.

Tracked in the graphic are: rank on the list, revenue and profit. One interesting thing to notice is the clear effects of recession on some companies profits (as seen in Ford Motors below), while other companies are largely unaffected by the dips of the economy. Head over to Fathom, Fry’s information design company, to get a closer look at the graphic.