by Ryan Harrington

Everyday new data visualizations are built, highlighting information in a way that is interesting and meaningful for the people consuming it. As visualization libraries have improved, the breadth of visualizations has grown tremendously. Since the beginning of the year we've been amazed by some of the visualizations that have been built. Today, we're presenting 5 of our favorites (in no particular order).

The Data of Cherry Blossoms

In April the Economist put together a visualization of cherry tree blossoms in Japan over the past 1200 years. The graphic immediately tells a story about the blossom date for cherry trees. However, what is perhaps most impressive about this visualization is how closely it resembles the branch of an actual cherry tree. It definitely got bonus points from us because of that.

The Tale of Place

If you're familiar with Reddit, then you probably saw r/Place. It was a simple premise that yielded fascinating results.  As Redditors do, they decided to memorialize r/Place. It turns out that they made some absolutely stunning visualizations of it along the way too.  This was our personal favorite, a 3D time lapse of every pixel on the canvas.

The Most Timeless Songs

We're going to cheat a little bit. This isn't just one visualization. Rather, it's a story of visualizations. If you want to see a story told with data, then you should head on over to The Pudding. Over the course of the past year, they've created some truly unbelievable data visualizations. We're regularly in awe of the work that they produce. One of their best was, without a doubt, their analysis of what makes music timeless.

How Long Does it Take You To Get Home?

The US Census Bureau tracks lots of things. All of that data can be really useful, but sometimes hard to understand. One thing that they track is commute times. Unfortunately, that data isn't too useful in the raw format that it's presented in. Instead, the team at Auto Accessories Garage built this great tool to help you explore the data. We love how their team turned a relatively boring dataset into a fantastic interactive tool.

A Subway Map Made Realistic

Have you ever taken a subway and wondered what route you're actually taking? The simplicity of subway route diagrams is wonderful, but never fully captures the twisting, turning experience of a subway ride. Reddit user /u/vinnivinnivinni took the display of Berlin's subway route, matched that data with various mapping resources, and created the transformation that you see above. The effect is mesmerizing.

AuthorRyan Harrington