Posts Tagged ‘ current events ’

The stimulus, mapped

October 29, 2010
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The stimulus, mapped

Edward Tufte created this "Lights-On Map", animating the grants under the American Recovery and Investment Act (more commonly known as the Stimulus): Click the image to see the lights come on over time. It's a nice visualization of the distribution of the stimulus projects over the country and time, but I'm actually surprised that it doesn't do a great...

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How extreme is the Russian heatwave?

August 20, 2010
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How extreme is the Russian heatwave?

The devastating heatwave in Russia now seems to be over, but not before killing thousands, causing extensive wildfires, and destroying crops. But how severe was this heatwave, compared to past summers? Physicist and climate scientist Joe Wheatley looks at the record of temperature and rainfall in Russia over the last 60 years and places the last 3 months in...

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R’s role in the national response to the BP Oil Spill

August 12, 2010
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In the early days of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, the rate of flow of oil from the spill was of great concern: estimating it accurately was key to coordinating the scale and scope of the response to the emergency. Unfortunately, estimates from independent sources varied widely, and BP's own estimates varied widely over...

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R unfolds the history of the Afghanistan war

August 9, 2010
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R unfolds the history of the Afghanistan war

Drew Conway continues his analysis of the Wikileaks data. Having concluded that the data appear legitimate (except perhaps in one region, based on a Benford's Law analysis of the numbers in the documents), Drew follows up with a spatio-temporal analysis of activity within Afghanistan, based on the datelines of the documents themselves (click to enlarge): Each panel represents a...

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On the Palin effect

August 2, 2010
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Do Vice-Presidential candidates have any effect on the outcome of Presidential elections in the US? Some past research suggested their impact was negligible, but the 2008 election seems to have changed all that, at least in the case Sarah Palin. As reported on the Everyday Politics blog, a new paper (co-authored by Revolution Analytics' CEO Norman Nie) looks at...

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An analysis of the Wikileaks data with R

July 30, 2010
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An analysis of the Wikileaks data with R

At his Zero Intelligence Agents blog, Drew Conway has taken on the task of performing a quantitative analysis (using R, of course) of the controversial Afghanistan document dump from Wikileaks. He's started with an analysis of the overall flow of information in the five Afghanistan regions, categorized by type of activity (enemy, neutral, etc.). (Click to enlarge.) It's a...

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The case of the missing zeroes

July 2, 2010
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The case of the missing zeroes

Political polling is a big industry these days, especially here in the US, and both mainstream news outlets and many of the bigger political blogs commission their own polls to measure (for example) the popularity of a sitting or candidate politician or policy. In the last week though, a very public spat has erupted between the left-leaning political blog...

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Pollution from the BP oil spill

June 25, 2010
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Pollution from the BP oil spill

There's been a lot of talk about the slicks and plumes of oil from the Deepwater Horizon disaster, but how does the presence of that oil translate into measurable pollution in the air, water, and sediment? The EPA is now releasing pollutants and making the data available for analysis. Because the data are online, it's a simple process to...

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The impact of the drug war in Mexico

June 18, 2010
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The impact of the drug war in Mexico

For the last couple of years, Mexico has been in the midst of an escalating drug war, with violent crime on the upswing in many areas. But tracking the impact quantitatively is difficult: in Mexico, about 85% of crimes go unreported, and corruption leads to inaccurate reporting in some districts. Diego Valle has taken on the task of visualizing...

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White House taps Edward Tufte to explain the stimulus

March 8, 2010
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White House taps Edward Tufte to explain the stimulus

Edward Tufte, a pioneer of effective data visualization (and a personal hero) has just been appointed by the White House to the Recovery Independent Advisory Panel. This panel advises The Recovery Accountability and Transparency Board, whose job is to track and explain $787 billion in recovery stimulus funds. Tufte explains: I'm doing this because I like accountability and transparency,...

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