Graphics and Data Visualization Examples


Chart shows the relative search popularity for three social media platforms from 2004 to 2021. Pulling from Google Trends, we can estimate trends in billions of search entries over the time period. Scroll your cursor over the chart for more information. To go to the data source, click 'Get the Data'. 


In this case, Myspace was the most popular social media search term up until about 2009, when Google (YouTube) and Facebook take over. Since then, it has been an arms race for attention, and Myspace has not been able to compete. Why has Facebook become so dominant, when technically an open Internet should foster competition and innovation? 


Mapping the increase in the cost of a college education in the United States between 2004 and 2015. Click on your state to see how tuition rates have changed. This map was built using data from The College Board. To get the percent change, simply subtract 2004 rates from 2015, and divide your answer by 204 in Excel. To go to the data source, click 'Get the Data'. 


In some states, especially in the West and Southwest, rates have rocketed over 100%. In others, like Ohio, the cost of tuition has barely moved. Why might that be the case? 

Map shows the major wildfires that ravaged California over the summer in 2021. These were among the largest in state history, and entire towns were burned. While the map illustrates the larger 40 fires, estimates put the total number of individual fires at around 8,000 with over 3 million total acres burned.

The immensity of the ecological, economic, and social toll is hard to imagine. What other kinds of stories about this event can we tell using maps and data?

Information for this map comes from Wikipedia, so take it with a grain of salt. To get things to display properly, I created new variables for number of ‘structures damaged’, 'cause of fire', ‘other notes’ from Cal Fire, and the ‘percentile ranking’ for the size of the fire. Note that you can use HTML to edit the popup (with custom tooltips) to make your maps more engaging. Please use this as a template in your own work.

Interactive Graph: Audience Attention Network

Network projection of respondents' self-reported attention to news (N= 1,823; based on free recall, open-ended questions). Links represent shared audience, or what scholars call "channel overlap". News organizations are grouped according to the Louvain method for community detection.  Click on a news outlet to see the patterns of overlap among outlets. 

Note the considerable amount of shared audience between a) groups and b) individual outlets. This result is inline with work that challenges everyday assumptions that news audiences are fragmented along ideological lines. The graph was produced in R with igraph and animated with the NetworkD3 package. Analysis based on a forthcoming journal article.