### Category "Visualization"

This is an example of using a clever color key that doubles as a histogram showing the distribution of the corresponding areas.

By the way, this post is from a great series about small ways to make better visualizations.

Nice example of why rainbow color tables can be misleading:

Regular readers will be aware of the #endrainbow campaign to reduce the use of rainbow colour palettes in scientific figures. At the recent EGU conference, I gave a talk on ‘making better figures’, which included an example of a published conclusion which was incorrect due to the use of a rainbow colour scheme.

via @asoconnor via @rsimmon

This is a great article about the change in balance between cities and roads in Google Maps between 2010 and 2016.

He also compares Google Maps versions to an old printed map:

Even though it’s from the early 1960s, the old map is more balanced than the Google map.

There are a lot of visualization lessons to be learned from cartography.

This is a great idea to visualize the punctuation in novels:

Inspired by a series of posters, I wondered what did my favorite books look like without words. Can you tell them apart or are they all a-mush? In fact, they can be quite distinct.

Robert Simmon redesigns a graphic:

Creating scientific graphics can be difficult: most scientists and engineers lack training in design, deadlines are tight, compromises must be reached between team members and management, and the available tools may be limited. Fortunately, many design guidelines are simple and easy to execute, which I’ll show by re-designing the following graph, originally presented by NASA at the 2015 American Geophysical Union fall meeting.

I would not have removed the inset map of the region because I thought it added useful visual context to the exact lat/lon location in the subtitle, but maybe that is just my unfamiliarity with that area. I also wondered what the graphic would look like if it used a Brewer diverging color table for the colors in each band instead of red for all positive values and blue for all negative values.

Explained Visually provides interactive, visual explanations of mathematical processes commonly used in science, such as eigenvectors/eigenvalues, least squares, and principal component analysis. The ability to interactively change the values in the examples and have the new result instantly displayed greatly helps with understanding.

Explained Visually is inspired by Bret Victor’s Explorable Explanations.

The 2016 Vizzies Winners have been announced, for example this awesome illustration Weedy seadragon life cycle by Stephanie Rozzo:

During her time volunteering at the Monterey Bay Aquarium, freelance science illustrator Stephanie Rozzo helped clean the seahorse exhibit. Over time, she found herself enchanted by their colors and movements. Rozzo knew she had her next illustration subject when one male began carrying eggs (as males of the species do).

She rendered an expectant pair of seadragons — native Australian fish closely related to seahorses — in acrylic paint with their seaweed habitat in graphite. The work depicts the species’ life stages from embryonic fry through adulthood.

Project Ukko provides beautiful interactive visualizations of wind conditions forecasted for a few months into the future.

Weather forecasts predict future wind conditions only in the range of weeks. Climate predictions look at big changes over years and decades. However, for energy traders, wind farm managers and many others, it would be crucial to understand wind conditions in the next few months.

The results are stunning and fun to poke around.

I do wish there was a way to get a bit better location context such as lat/lot and state/country borders.

via Flowing Data

Great roundup of visualization roundups:

A bit late, but here are links to a few round-ups of graphical journalism work from last year. These are always worth a look, no matter what time of year.

From the blog post introducing Kaggle Datasets:

Kaggle Datasets has four core components:

• Results: visibility to the previous work that’s been created on the data
• Conversation: forums and comments for discussing the nuances of the data

Looks like some fun data to play around with, along with ancillary information such as discussion forums and user uploaded scripts.

via FlowingData

• #### GPULib

GPULib enables IDL developers to access the high-performance capabilities of modern NVIDIA graphics cards without knowledge of CUDA programming.

TaskDL is a task-farming solution for IDL designed for problems with loosely-coupled, parallel applications where no communication between nodes of a cluster is required.

#### mpiDL

mpiDL is a library of IDL bindings for Message Passing Interface (MPI) used for tightly-coupled parallel applications.

#### Remote Data Toolkit

The Remote Data Toolkit is a library of IDL routines allowing for easy access to various scientific data in formats such as OPeNDAP, HDF 5, and netCDF.

• #### Modern IDL

Modern IDL offers IDL programmers one place to look, for beginners and advanced users alike. This book also contains: a thorough tutorial on the core topics of IDL; a comprehensive introduction to the object graphics system; common problems and gotchas with many examples; advanced topics not normally found are discussed throughout the book: regular expressions, object graphics, advanced widget programming, performance, object-oriented programming, etc.

• #### IDLdoc

IDLdoc is an open source utility for generating documentation from IDL source code and specially formatted comments.

#### mgunit

mgunit is an open source unit testing framework for IDL.

#### rIDL

rIDL is an open source IDL command line replacement.

#### mglib

mglib is an open source library of IDL routines in areas of visualization, application development, command line utilities, analysis, data access, etc.