The Toddler Is An Outlier

In preparation for her new school, our 30-month-old daughter had her first doctor’s appointment in Korea this morning. Fortunately, the checkup went well. The pediatrician also offered something I hadn’t before received in the United States: information graphics!

Eva has always been larger than other kids her age. Not overweight — just a bit taller and heavier. These charts from the doctor show that she’s in the 97th percentile for her age in both categories:

eva-percentile

How’s The Weather In Seoul? Pretty Temperate. (Sorry, Austin Friends)

Note: My family recently relocated to Seoul, where my wife is working as a foreign correspondent for NPR. This post is the first in an occasional series profiling the peninsula’s demographics and politics (and occasionally weather).

I enjoy Austin, and I still consider it “home,” even after moving to Washington, D.C., and, now, Seoul. But one of my top complaints about the Texas capital is the blazing summer heat. And by “summer” I mean March to October, essentially. In 2011, the year we left, there were 69 days in which the high temperature reached triple digits — only tying a record.

So, yes, I’ve enjoyed D.C.’s relatively temperate weather, despite the occasional winter snow or those few sticky days in August. But I wasn’t sure what to expect in Seoul, other than I suspected the winters were chilly. Turns out the temperatures are much like those in D.C., which makes sense because both cities are near the 38th north parallel above the Equator.

These simple charts show the average high and low temperatures in each place:

Tomorrow, I’ll chart the average number of rainy days — and the average monthly rainfall totals — in each place. Hint: Summer is the rainy season in Seoul.

Sources: WorldWeatherOnline.com (average temps.); Highcharts JS (charting library); ColorBrewer (color palette).

Korean Emigration At Record Low; Where Do Expatriates Live Now?

Note: My family recently relocated to Seoul, where my wife is working as a foreign correspondent for NPR. This post is the first in an occasional series profiling the peninsula’s demographics and politics.

Korean media reported last week that the number of residents moving to other counties fell to the lowest level since 1962, when the government’s foreign ministry began collecting such data. The reports speculated that South Korea’s relatively healthy economy — the 13th-largest in the world — was prompting residents to stay.

Emigration had been on a sharp rise until 1976 as more and more people had been choosing to live in foreign countries for a better life. The Korean economy underwent fast industrialization in the 1970s after rising from the ashes of the 1950-53 Korean War.

Since then, the number has been declining, and it fell below the 10,000 mark, down to 9,509, for the first time in 2003, the data showed.

The roughly 7 million expatriate Koreans are scattered across the world, but mostly in China, Japan and the United States. This map shows the distribution:

Sources: Wikipedia (Korean diaspora); Highcharts JS (map library); ColorBrewer (color palette).

D.C.’s Snowy Winter (Ugh, In One Chart)

It’s been a bit more wintry in Washington, D.C., this winter. More so than usual, as one might guess from today’s snowfall.

The average annual snowfall total in the last three decades, according to the National Weather Service, is about 15 inches. This year we’ve received about 26 inches (and counting, as I look out the window). Last year, though, we received only about 3 inches of snow.

Clearly, this is a strange year. Here’s a chart of snowfall totals by month over time. This February and March were unusual:

DC snow

“The Racial Dot Map: One Dot Per Person”


This map is an American snapshot; it provides an accessible visualization of geographic distribution, population density, and racial diversity of the American people in every neighborhood in the entire country. The map displays 308,745,538 dots, one for each person residing in the United States at the location they were counted during the 2010 Census.

Read more at: www.coopercenter.org

“What I Learned From A Year Of Watching SportsCenter”


Thirty-three years and more than 50,000 episodes on, SportsCenter is less a television show or a convenient way to catch up on the day in sports than a great mechanical contraption gone awry, its parts moving independently not just of one another but of any obvious directing intelligence.

Read more at: deadspin.com

“Top 10 Iconic Data Graphics”


Photographers have created many iconic images, but Biostatistics professor Roger Peng recently asked ” What are the iconic data graphs of the past 10 years?” FastCoLabs called in Andy Kirk of Visualising Data, Robert Kosara of Eager Eyes, and Matt Stiles, the data editor of NPR, to help answer that question.

Read more at: www.fastcolabs.com