Journalism and data literacy

This post by Carla Pedrete is titled Common mistakes journalists make when using statistics, but I’d wager most statements wouldn’t be less true if extended to the general population (emphases mine): Political parties and corporations use statistics to defend or justify particular interests. Hence, it is indispensable that journalists analyse numbers as deeply as they analyse words. David … Continue reading Journalism and data literacy

Flag geekery

Alas, New Zealand’s proposition for a new flag design has been voted against a few weeks ago: But flags are always an interesting topic of discussion, from a design, cultural, historic, or simply aesthetic point of view. Via my friend Frank Ostermann I’ve learnt about Flag Stories, a website dedicated to the design elements (patterns, … Continue reading Flag geekery

Switzerland tile map

(Blogpost auf Deutsch unter I believe in abstraction for conveying information, or ‘rough’ context for information, efficiently. Since a while, hex and square tile maps are all the rage in the US. Check out this post by the npr visuals team on the technique, with some US examples: An even greater example (imo) comes … Continue reading Switzerland tile map

Finds III: Hadley Wickham, lying maps, and full stack geographers

→ Hadley Wickham, the Man Who Revolutionized R I don’t know, if Hadley Wickham is the most prolific R developer (could well be), but he is behind some very influential packages, e.g. ggplot2, plyr, reshape, lubridate, dplyr. Priceonomics featured an article about the statistician who is, “in his own words, ‘nerd famous.’”   → When Maps Lie Lengthy, but interesting … Continue reading Finds III: Hadley Wickham, lying maps, and full stack geographers

Finds II

→ Google Sheep View If you are like me you love a good parody and hence this new Google product.   → What to do if your p-value is just over the arbitrary threshold for ‘significance’ of p=0.05? Matthew Hankins carried out an analysis of the wording researchers use when their statistical tests yield non-significant … Continue reading Finds II

Visualizing group sizes and inter-group flows

A few weeks ago, I came across the following graphics on Twitter: They depict voter share per party (including absentees, in grey) (top) and voter flows between different parties in the 2015 cantonal elections in Zurich. The graphics are produced by sotomo, a research company at the nexus of science and practical application occupying itself with political and … Continue reading Visualizing group sizes and inter-group flows

Finds I

→ The real reason American passenger trains are so bad “It’s not just that these services aren’t the best in the world and don’t deploy the most cutting-edge technology available. They are often truly abysmal, with travel times worse than what was possible 100 years ago.” [Vox] Matthew Yglesias gives some interesting insights into the reasons … Continue reading Finds I

Sunset on Mars

A  sunset on Mars: This picture been taken by NASA’s Curiosity Rover on the mission’s 956th Martian day (April 15, 2015). The colour has been “calibrated and white-balanced to remove camera artifacts” according to NASA. The colours are thus similar to what a human would perceive, although we might see a bit more blue. How amazing is this!? NASA sent … Continue reading Sunset on Mars