A True Picture of Population Density

Look up a city’s urban density on Wikipedia, and you know you’re only getting a small slice of the story. There’s no way exactly 27,857.9 people live in every square mile of New York City – some areas are far more packed, some are relatively empty (at least when it comes to living space). Perhaps the best way to get a true picture of where people live is to check out the residential density per square kilometer. That’s what these 3D maps from LSECities visualize, giving us a unique look at 9 world cities and their distribution of people. Each map here looks at a 100 x 100 kilometer square, and quickly reveals how factors like topography and the location of public transport have influenced the growth of these places.

30 Critically Endangered Species, 1 Beautiful Geometric Interactive

No matter how you put it together, we are in the midst of a huge extinction event. Almost as fast as we can categorize them, species are disappearing around the world… but there is some hope. Species In Pieces is a striking interactive visualization by Bryan James which assembles 30 critically endangered species out of CSS polygons, then shares the hopeful data on how groups are working to bring them back from the brink.

What Percentage of Rich and Poor Families Go to College? This Interactive Asks You to Draw the Chart

The New York Time’s has a very unique game to play over at The Upshot. They’re question: “how likely is it that children who grow up in very poor families go to college?” Not content to leave us with a simple percentage to fill in, they’ve created an interactive ‘draw your guess’ chart to see how close to reality people can get.

The chart compares ‘parents’ income percentile’ to the ‘percent of children who attend college.’ The results are probably not what you expect… but highly revealing of current trends.

This Jaw-Dropping Video Will Make the Earth Seem VERY Small

If you ever watched Cosmos as a kid (or just on Youtube) you know Carl Sagan loved to drop his catch phrase ‘billions and billions’. But Sagan didn’t just talk about how big everything was in the universe, some numbers are just too large to comprehend. This video explains the universe a lot like Sagan would, by showing it to us in a way we can’t possibly forget.

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.

These Two Visualizations Will Truly Make You Appreciate Musical Skill

Listening to a concert is one thing, seeing it is another, and this is something different all together. These two videos are the work of Stephen Malinowski, and his Music Animation Machine, or MAM. Using it, he’s distilled complex classical music pieces into colorful visualizations that help us to distinguish between the many instruments, and complex timings involved in performing them. It’s one more way to appreciate these masterworks.

How Much Did the Department of the Defense Pay the NFL to Salute the Troops?

New government documents obtained by NJ.com reveal what some taxpayers may consider disturbing spending by the Department of Defense. A total of $5.4 million in taxpayer money was paid to the NFL between 2011 and 2014 for various salutes to the troops and other advertising during games. As viewers believed these salutes to be genuine acknowledgments for time served—not paid advertising as a recruiting tool—many are upset that taxpayer money was used to mislead viewers. The Department of Defense paid 14 NFL teams $5.4 million to salute the troops. So, how much did they pay?

A Visualization of Every Drug Hunter S. Thompson Took in a 24-Hour Period

Hunter S. Thompson was a great writer. (Check out our 5 Reasons to Read Hunter S. Thompson to find out why). Unfortunately, he is known more for his excessive drug use and lifestyle. What did that really entail, though? The 1993 biography Hunter: The Strange and Savage Life of Hunter S. Thompson by E. Jean Carroll contains a detailed listing of drugs consumed by Thompson in a 24-hour period that is, well, exhausting: 

What the Internet Thinks About—in an Interactive Infographic

What does the Internet care about? What articles do we share the most? Using the data from the Ahrefs Content Explorer, the people at Funders and Founders analyzed the most popular articles from each of the top English-language media sites in the world and created this interactive visualization. The result is a straightforward visualization of the content we care about most. 

Surprising: The US is Only 4 Presidents Old

Viewed from the year 2015, the founding of the United States seems like a distant piece of history, but from the right perspective it wasn’t long ago at all. Take this little tidbit of information: the US is only as old as four President’s lives.

When Barak Obama was born (1961), Herbert Hoover was still alive (1874 – 1964). When Hoover was born, Andrew Johnson was still living (1808 – 1875). When Johnson was born John Adams was still alive (1735 – 1826). And there you have it. With just the overlapping lives of four presidents we reach the Founding Fathers of the United States. Pretty amazing.