The Complex World of Microsoft Acquisitions

Looking like a fantastically complex version of the London Underground map, this information rich graphic details the many acquisitions and investments of the behemoth Microsoft corporation. At first glance it is quickly apparent that the multi-faceted company has its hands in just about every sector of business, and with the recent $8.5 billion purchase of Skype, their influence is only expanding.

Add Local Expertise With Google Map Maker: USA

Google Maps has come to be an extraordinary tool for people to use in their search for locations, and as a route planner for traveling by car, public transportation, and on foot. Google Maps uses satellite images to show street level information and terrain but there hasn’t been highly detailed information about the ever changing landscapes of actual neighborhoods… until Google Map Maker.

Political Assassinations in the 21st Century

Assassination is defined as “murdering a usually prominent person by sudden or secret attack often for political reasons.” As this graphic clearly shows, the dawning 21st century is hardly immune from this violent means of influence, tactics being everything from gun violence to radioactive poisoning. Illustrating some notable murders since the year 2000, this map also highlights countries that have seen political assassination as an annual event.
Infographic by Column Five for

Visual Bits #30 > Tower of Stitches

Your daily links after the jump!

Visual Bits #29 > Get Your Kicks

Strap on your shoes, more links after the jump!

A Typographical Map of the World

Shaping a squeaky clean map of the world using just place names to define boundaries, Chartis Graphein’s poster over at Design Ahoy is really well done. The letterpress print has embossed longitude and latitude lines, adding to the many subtle details of the surprisingly information rich map. It’s the perfect way to memorize all those places you’ve been dying to visit. Find the 20 by 29 inch print available through Design Ahoy’s Etsy store.

Breaking Chains: North Africans Rise Up Together

With protesters in Egypt still filling the streets, fighting in many Libyan cities and much of northern Africa in some state of upheaval, Visual News artist Robbie Douglas was inspired to create a pencil drawing, titled Breaking Chains, that illuminates the situation and it’s vast scale.

So You Still Think the Internet is Free?

If you still think the Internet is free, un-policed and safe from being turned off, think again. With the recent shut down of Egypt’s Internet amidst the countries mass riots, the sobering idea that our Internet world is more fragile than expected becomes more apparent each day. In the case of Egypt, the Internet was almost entirely shut down in only a matter of hours as this analysis by Ars Technica explains. These 4 informative infographics from put the current state of freedom on the net in perspective:

The Most Popular Surnames in the US by Area

Whether they be Smith’s, Kelly’s, Garcia’s, Lee’s or Leblanc’s, America is truly a melting pot of cultures. Showing the most prolific surnames in the country, National Geographic has put out an interactive map showing the distribution, quantity and origin of last names in different regions. To see what names hit the top of the list in your area, see the map at

America’s Surprising Knowledge of Geography

In an attempt to show how woeful the average Americans knowledge of world geography is, brilliant comic Randall Munroe of randomly selected some Americans to interview as they walking home one night. When he asked them to fill him in on their understanding of the world, the results were surprising.