Category "Visualization"

[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].

[Explained Visually]: “Explained Visually”
[Explorable Explanations]: “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.

[Winners]: “The Vizzies – Visualization Challenge Winners”

[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]

[Flowing Data]: “Wind prediction and potential power”

[Project Ukko]: “Project Ukko – visualizing seasonal wind predictions”

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.

“2015 Year in Graphics Links”

From the [blog post] introducing [Kaggle Datasets]:

> Kaggle Datasets has four core components:
> * Access: simple, consistent access to the data with clear licensing
> * Analysis: a way to explore the data without downloading it
> * 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]

[FlowingData]: “Kaggle Datasets for a place to converge on public data”
[blog post]: “Introducing Kaggle Datasets”
[Kaggle Datasets]: “Kaggle Datasets”

In brief moments of mania, I’ve thought about creating an ASCII art graphics library. It would do things like this [ASCII business report].

Link via [FlowingData].

[ASCII business report]: “The Year Ahead 2016: 50 Companies to Watch”
[FlowingData]: “ASCII business report”

I wrote an [overview] almost eight years ago about IDL’s basic routines to visualize a vector field. Not much has changed since then. This [paper] by Laidlaw, et al, mentioned at the end of my overview, outlines six common visualization techniques and evaluates them on the speed and accuracy of doing common tasks with them.

I think it would be great to have two of the better performing techniques: OSTR (image-guided streamlines, integral curves) and LIC (line-integral convolution) techniques. Between the two of them, they have the best or nearly the best performance in every category. An example OSTR visualization is shown below:

OSTR example

I have tackled LIC and have [code][LIC code] to produce images from vector fields in my library.

[overview]: “Overview of flow visualization in IDL”

[paper]: “Comparing 2D Vector Field Visualization Methods: A User Study”

[LIC code]: “Line-integral convolution code”

Public [voting] is open for the 2015 NSF Vizzies, the visualization competition with categories for photos, illustrations, posters/graphics, interactive visualizations, and videos. Check them out and vote for your favorites — I find them very motivating!

Antarctica: a chromatic paradox

[voting]: “NSF Vizzies”

NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) is capturing spectacular images of the sun in ten different wavelengths. NASA Goddard has produced this [amazing HD video] of the images. There is a lot going on:

> It’s always shining, always ablaze with light and energy that drive weather, biology and more. In addition to keeping life alive on Earth, the sun also sends out a constant flow of particles called the solar wind, and it occasionally erupts with giant clouds of solar material, called coronal mass ejections, or explosions of X-rays called solar flares. These events can rattle our space environment out to the very edges of our solar system.

I could just sit and watch this — it would make a fantastic screen saver.

via [FlowingData]

[amazing HD video]: “NASA|Thermonuclear Art – The Sun in Ultra-HD”

[FlowingData]: “The Sun ultra-HD”

Fun [site][compare] for map nerds or anyone trying to get a grasp on the differences between projections.

via [Visualizing Data]

[Visualizing Data]: “Best of the visualization web”
[compare]: “Comparing Map Projections”

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