By Matt Stiles | | Topics: Uncategorized

This is an oldie, but a goodie: A color-coded chart that helps decipher the Twitter API, created by the company’s platform services lead, Raffi Krikorian. Each color represents a different field of data created each time you tweet. All this data is available to developers to build cool stuff like TweetStats, Klout and the like: 

Charting Home Improvement

By Matt Stiles | | Topics: Uncategorized

I spent the morning replacing old door knobs and power outlets around the house. These items were purchased from both Lowe’s and Home Depot — America’s two retail home improvement giants. The stores in our neighborhood are next to one another, and I sometimes can’t decide which one to choose.

Perhaps investors feel the same way? This interactive chart, made with Google’s finance service, shows both companies’ movement on the New York Stock Exchange since Jan. 4, 2008. Lowe’s is blue; Home Depot is red. Notice that they fall and climb at similar times: 

You might think that these spikes and dips relate closely to the performance of the Dow Jones Industrial Average. The two companies follow the trend generally, but they rise and fall together: 

Perhaps this has to do with the price of lumber or something. Thoughts? 

Larger versions: 1, 2

Diverging Views of America

By Matt Stiles | | Topics: Uncategorized

Ronald Brownstein writes today about the “daunting and even historic” rejection of Democrats by white voters in last year’s mid-term elections. The story also links to this cool graphic, which illustrates the divide between whites and non-whites, according to their answers in exit polls: 

Graphic by Brian McGill.

Pigs, Cows, Chickens: A Map

By Matt Stiles | | Topics: Uncategorized

Inspired by Bill Rankin’s maps, I downloaded the U.S. Census of Agriculture, which counted the number of food animals sold and moved off farms in each American county during the 2007 calendar year.

This map below, created in ArcGIS 3D Analyst, details only those figures for cows, pigs and chickens. Darker colors in the respective food categories represent higher county-by-county animal density levels during the year. The taller 3D extrusions represent total animal sales from farms over than time.

It’s clear from this map that chickens are largely raised in the south, though a significant number appear in a tri-state region around Chesapeake Bay (a situation that’s causing serious environment implications). Pigs come from the Mid West (Iowa, mostly) and North Carolina. Cattle are concentrated through the Great Plains, as one might expect, and pockets in the West. 

See a larger version.

Map: Shapefiles | Data: CSV

Searching for Salsa

By Matt Stiles | | Topics: Uncategorized

Who doesn’t like salsa, right? It’s America’s number-one condiment, at least in the mind of George Costanza. But not all states like it the same, apparently, according to Google, which ranks places by their search terms.

This map shows the volume of Google searches for the word “salsa” in the food and drink category, which filters out searches for, say, “salsa dancing”. South Dakotans and Vermonters searched for the condiment in relative terms more than other states, especially those in the South. (Darker shades represent more search volume): 

Source: Insights for Search | Data: CSV | Shapefile: ZIP

Dallas Cowboys History

By Matt Stiles | | Topics: Uncategorized

Let’s face it: This is a dreadful season for Dallas Cowboys fans. Romo went down, Uncle Wade got fired and the future remains uncertain. Still, historically speaking, the season hasn’t been that bad.

These interactive line charts, made with the Google Visualization API, track the team’s win-loss record since 1960, broken down by home and road games. You’ll notice that eight other seasons have been worse (1960, 1961, 1963, 1988, 1989, 2000, 2001, 2002). 

I’ve also created sortable table, which has ranking columns for all seasons by home and away games. Go Cowboys. 

Source: NFL | Data: CSV

2010 Movie Sales

By Matt Stiles | | Topics: Uncategorized

Watching The King’s Speech yesterday, I wondered how the various major movies genres and rating levels fare against one another at the box office.

Using data from The Numbers, a site that tracks Hollywood sales and stars, and I filtered the list down to the eight most common genres — and only those films that grossed more than $1 million. I uploaded the data to Many Eyes, a free site owned by IBM, to create a tree map, a visualization method that displays hierarchical data into easily digestible categories.  

Here’s the view by genre. Clearly, moviegoers like adventure, followed by comedy, drama and action. The shade of each category changes slightly in subcategories based on the rating (notice the bright pink box at the bottom for Toy Story, the year’s highest-grossing movie but also one of only two G-rated adventures):

Right click inside a category and drill down to see more detail. Here we look at the adventures alone: 

Or drill down farther into the PG-rated movies, and hover over each title to see its gross sales:

Of course, you also have the ability to change the entire view by changing the “size” drop-down menu at the bottom of the map, or by sliding the hierarchical categories (genre, title, rating) at the top. Check out the map

Tree maps take experimentation to understand, but they can be powerful tools. If you like this subject, also check out Terrab Erk’s cool stack graph comparing movie genres back to the 1880s.

Source: The Numbers | Data: Google Docs

Amsterdam SMS messages on New Years Eve from Aaron Koblin on Vimeo. I got married in Amsterdam, and


Amsterdam SMS messages on New Years Eve from Aaron Koblin on Vimeo.

I got married in Amsterdam, and spent an exciting New Year’s Eve last year in The Hague, so I’m partial to the Dutch people. Since it’s difficult to visualize the country’s love for New Year’s Eve fireworks, here’s a look at its residents’ text messages, courtesy of KPM Telecom and Aaron Koblin