Nothing like data visualization to put things into perspective

Daily air traffic over Europe

It starts in 2-D and shifts to a 3-D visualization partway through it.


Running the Numbers: An American Self-Portrait by the artist Chris Jordan

This piece, called Cans Seurat, depicts 106,000 aluminum cans, the number used in the US every thirty seconds.
Cans Seurat 60x92

Partial zoom
Partial Zoom of Cans Seurat

Detail at actual size
Cans Seurat: Detail at actual size

Each image [in “Running the Numbers”] portrays a specific quantity of something: fifteen million sheets of office paper (five minutes of paper use); 106,000 aluminum cans (thirty seconds of can consumption) and so on. My hope is that images representing these quantities might have a different effect than the raw numbers alone, such as we find daily in articles and books. Statistics can feel abstract and anesthetizing, making it difficult to connect with and make meaning of 3.6 million SUV sales in one year, for example, or 2.3 million Americans in prison, or 426,000 cell phones retired every day. This project visually examines these vast and bizarre measures of our society, in large intricately detailed prints assembled from thousands of smaller photographs.

Doing Business Report Meets Google Maps

I mentioned this one before, but it’s worth another go.

Doing business report




Gapminder is a non-profit venture for development and provision of free software that visualise human development. This is done in collaboration with universities, UN organisations, public agencies and non-governmental organisations.

Dollar Street

Also from the makers of Gapminder is Dollar Street.

Dollar Street

All people of the world live on Dollar Street, the poorest to the left and the richest to the right. Everybody else live inbetween. Dollar Street contains complete photo-panoramas from households at different income levels. Current version includes 13 household and 3 school documentations from Mozambique, South Africa and Uganda.