Posts about data visualization

An Actual Hazard

October 14th, 2009

Public Outrage vs. Actual Hazard

Cool graphic.  Take note of “Pedestrian Accidents.”

The Crisis of Credit

March 1st, 2009

The Crisis of Credit Visualized from Jonathan Jarvis on Vimeo.


This video attempts to break down the credit crisis into an easy to understand presentation. The information presented is seemingly on target. There are perhaps a few cheap shots, but on the whole I think it stays away from politics and gives an even handed overview of how everything fell apart. I only take exception to the “irresponsible homeowners” having more kids than the “responsible” ones. Either way, I really recommend you taking the time to watch it. I have background in finance and have tried to keep up with all of the information coming out about the credit crisis, but this presentation really helped to weave it all together.


The goal of giving form to a complex situation like the credit crisis is to quickly supply the essence of the situation to those unfamiliar and uninitiated. This project was completed as part of my thesis work in the Media Design Program, a graduate studio at the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, California. For more on my broader thesis work exploring the use of new media to make sense of a increasingly complex world, visit my website here.

Find out more on his website: Crisis of Credit

ULI Competition 2009: We’re in the top 4!

February 20th, 2009

Got some great news yesterday and wanted to share it with you.  We are one of four finalist teams that have made it through to round two of the 2009 ULI Hines Urban Design competition. Which means we will travel to Denver in April to compete for a shot at the $50,000 first prize.  Really excited and look forward to working some more on this project. Also, now that the results of round one have been announced, I can share with you everything we worked on.  And I am sure to say we, as it was definitely a team effort.


Sarah Snider, Master of City Planning / MIT
Eric Komppa, MBA / University of Wisconsin-Madison
Jesse Hunting, Master of City Planning / MIT
Duncan McIlvaine, M.Arch / MIT
Blair Humphreys, Master of City Planning / MIT


This is our complete design board.  The board measures 51″ x 22″ – or six 17″ x 11″ sheets.  In addition to this we were required to turn in two separate 17″ x 11″ sheets, one with financials and one “day in the life of” sheet conveying life in the year 2050 (click here to see it).  I have chopped up the board pictured above into separate images to fit on your screen below.  The proposal is for an approx. 80 acre site surrounding Denver’s Alameda light rail station.  The northern portion of the site is currently a fairly typical big box retail layout, while the southern portion has a range of tenants connected to the Denver Design District. The primary challenge was to redesign the site to take advantage of the light rail station without displacing any of the existing tenants.  The boards are meant to be self-explanatory (i.e. we weren’t present when the judges viewed them), so I haven’t provided any commentary but if you have questions, just let me know.  Thanks!

note: this post is image heavy so it may load a bit slow.

Data Visual: Flight Patterns

October 3rd, 2008

Aaron Koblin produces some amazing data visualizations that blur the line between data and art. One of my favorites is Flight Patterns where he visualizes the flight traffic data for the United States to create a time lapse video that tells an amazing visual story. Also, I should point out that his images make excellent desktop backgrounds!

Click on the picture to see the time lapse video:

The Boston Public Library Courtyard

September 17th, 2008

I am taking a course called Sensing Place: Photography as Inquiry. Our first assignment was to take pictures that show how light affects the landscape. I chose the courtyard in the Boston Public Library as my site because it is one of my favorite places in Boston. We reviewed the assignment today and I thought you might enjoy seeing the photos I turned in.

A classic courtyard with a very pleasant fountain in the center.

I ran out of the house on Saturday afternoon when sunlight began to pour through my south facing window (after days of cloudy skies). Would have been nice to get a series of these shots throughout the day, but the sun didn’t really cooperate.

A wonderful pillar supported arcade surrounds the central courtyard.

I was sitting about 20 feet away from this guy when I noticed that he had positioned himself perfectly to get sunlight on his body, while his face stayed comfortably in the shade. I couldn’t figure out how to get a picture that would tell the story, but finally managed to crawl up on a second story window sill and hover with camera directly above the guy.

On any given day you can expect to find a number of people sitting, eating, reading, or utilizing the free wi-fi.

Taken from inside the library with the courtyard visible through the window. The light marble surfaces of the grand staircase shine bright as the sun pours through the southwest facing windows.

Visualization: Watching Walmart Grow!

September 5th, 2008

Click on the image, or follow this link, to see the amazing growth of Walmart from a single store in 1962 to a truly global brand. Take note of the intensity of stores in Oklahoma. For better or worse, I have heard that Oklahoma City was long considered an ideal market for Walmart!

First Ten Posts in Review

July 31st, 2008

First Ten Post in Review

Or, a more vertical version…

First Ten Posts in Review

Only goes to show you, you can’t talk about development in this city without talking about parking!


Skyline Ink “Core to Shore” Animation

July 30th, 2008

If you aren’t excited about “Core to Shore” yet, you should be. Take a second to get familiar with the plan…

Core to Shore Masterplan

…then let the brilliant animation from Oklahoma City firm Skyline Ink take you there. NOTE: large file size, may take some time to stream.

Oklahoma City’s “Core to Shore” – by skylineink from imagiNATIVEamerica on Vimeo.

Here is the video again with some helpful commentary from Mayor Mick Cornett:

Special thanks to Eddie for bringing the video to my attention and to Derek at Skyline Ink for allowing me to post it. More of Skyline Ink’s amazing work can be found on their website!


I Love Oklahoma!

July 10th, 2008

I love Oklahoma! I really do. I have not quite pinpointed why I love it so much. There are some truly terrific things about the state – many of which we need to do a better job of marketing – but there are also so many things that are just embarrassing. And yet, my love for Oklahoma is steadfast if for no other reason than that it is simply home. This affection for a place was perhaps most aptly described by C.S. Lewis in The Four Loves when he discusses what he defines as the first (and best) type of patriotism:

“First, there is love of home, of the place we grew up in or the places, perhaps many, which have been our homes; and of all places fairly near these and fairly like them; love of old acquaintances, of familiar sights, sounds and smells.”

– C.S. Lewis

This is what Oklahoma is to me and always will be. But what about everyone else? How do others feel about the State of Oklahoma? Also, which of the fifty states is the most loved and where does Oklahoma rank?

I decided to try and figure out which state was the most loved. After thinking through a number of fairly complex possibilities for measuring which states were loved the most, I decided on a simple solution suggested by my friend Frank Hebbert. Just Google it! Simply google the phrase “I love Oklahoma” and seeing how many results come back. It provides at least some insight as to how much the state is loved – or at least how often people express that love on the internet – and you can easily compare the results with those of different states.

Method of Data Collection Explained

So I put together a little php code to query Google for all 50 states using the search term “I love stateName” and return the number of results to a table (note: apparently Google frowns on people using their service for this type of “research” and will tag you as a spyware bot and block your service, but it’s not permanent). Here is what I got back. I found the results to be pretty interesting.

Overall Most Loved States

The data is not perfect, though I attempted to manually account for specific circumstances that caused the data to be skewed. For instance, with Indiana the numbers seemed high – initially some 37,900 – but upon further review I discovered that many these results were from the phrase “I love Indiana Jones” (my guess is that most of these were written prior to the release of the The Kingdom of the Crystal Skulls!) Anyway, I subtracted these results as best I could using “-Jones” to end up at the numbers shown above. New York is particularly problematic because it is both the name of the State and a commonly used name for the City – a very large and apparently much beloved city. I added “-city” to the search term to try to account for some of this and also added “-vh1” in hopes of excluding many of the pages specific to the VH1 show that is actually titled, “I love New York”. As you can see – even with these modifications – New York had no trouble coming out on top. Not particularly surprising given the confusion of names b/w city and state and the fact that “I love New York” has been an active campaign to market tourism in the State for over 30 years now.

In addition to this, you could add precision by excluding results specific to a college or sport’s team (i.e. “I love Oklahoma football….a lot!”) or any other phrase that contains the “I love stateName” structure somewhere within the string. But I decided to keep it simple for now and only tackled the two very obvious outliers noted above.

Analyzing the Results

As for my Oklahoma, we finished a very respectable 29th. Not great, but not bad. And this is up against states with much bigger populations, providing a larger number of persons, each with the capacity to type “I love stateName” somewhere on the internet. In fact, Overall Most Loved is not the best measurement of how much a state is loved by its (or outside) residents, because larger states have a built in advantage. To account for this I adjusted the results to reflect the population by calculating the number of results per thousand residents.

Most Loved State per resident

(results per 1000 residents)

Unfortunately, this actually caused Oklahoma to slip to 30th. This is due to huge upward moves from lower population states that tend to attract vacationers, most notably:

  • Wyoming – moving up 34 spots to 9th
  • North Dakota – moving up 32 spots to 14th
  • South Dakota – moving up 31 spots to 13th
  • Delaware – moving up 30 spots to 15th
  • And Vermont – moving up 28 spots to 7th

BUT Oklahoma is now one spot above Texas – which slipped to 31st place – so I am quite pleased with the results (Don’t Mess with Texas…ha!). Still, population is not the best measure as not every resident of say West Virginia has the same access to the internet as a resident of Massachusetts. I couldn’t find reliable data on internet connectivity, but I did find information on the number of households with computers which is at least a step closer to identifying the number of internet users. Here are the results when you adjust the data to reflect household computer ownership:

Most Loved State per household computer

(results per 1000 hh computers)

Finally we have a measure for the love for a state expressed on the internet per internet user (erhh…computer owner). Oklahoma comes in at a completely average 26th place – meaning we benefited by adjusting the numbers for computer ownership – which is not really a good thing. In fact, the states that moved up the most from the population adjusted list to the computer ownership adjusted list are all closely related geographically.

  • Mississippi – moving up 9 spots to 26th
  • Alabama – moving up 5 spots to 18th
  • Oklahoma – moving up 4 spots to 26th
  • Arkansas – moving up 3 spots to 45th
  • Louisiana – moving up 3 spots to 38th

Show Oklahoma Some Love

Now, it is my hope that this post will begin a movement of people writing “I love Oklahoma” on every webpage, blog, message board, and bathroom stall they can find. You don’t have to be an Oklahoman to help, you don’t even have to have visited, all you have to do is write “I love Oklahoma” somewhere on the internet. I will rerun the numbers in a month or so and see if we have had any impact. I have been fairly liberal with my use of the phrase here in hopes of adding to the counts, but I can only do so much!

By the way, “I love Oklahoma City” as well, and sometime soon I intend to continue this series by exploring which cities people love the most – so stay tuned!

Till next time, you can look over the various state rankings listed below in alphabetical order. I have also provided a link at the bottom to the Google Spreadsheet containing all of the data used for the calculations. Or, make up your own test and let me know what you find out.

Alphabetical List of All States

Link to Google Spreadsheet containing all data used to produce rankings.

IloveOK Spreadsheet