Another View of Obama Speech

By Matt Stiles | | Topics: Uncategorized

The highlight for some in President Obama’s 45-minute speech yesterday about Arab governments and the Middle East was a section on Israel. Obama called for returning Israel to its borders before the Six-Day War in 1967, when the country took control of the Gaza Strip, the West Bank and the Golan Heights. 

Here’s the speech in a “word tree,” a visualization technique from Many Eyes that displays unstructured data so that users can select words or phrases to see them in context. I chose “Israel” first, allowing me to see the sentences in which Obama mentioned it. 

View larger interactive version.

Congressional Campaign Totals

By Matt Stiles | | Topics: Uncategorized

Members of Congress recently filed their quarterly campaign-finance reports, which detail their political fundraising, spending, cash on hand and debts. The Center for Responsive Politics posted the totals for all House and Senate members yesterday. This map shows fundraising totals by state:

Here’s a per-capita version:

The interactive version lets you toggle views between fundraising, spending, debt and cash.

The World of Newspapers

By Matt Stiles | | Topics: Uncategorized

We all know that newspapers are struggling to maintain circulation, and some in the United States have intentionally reduced their distribution in an effort to cut costs and focus on local subscribers (who often are most valued by local advertisers). 

A user on the data visualization service Many Eyes recently created a treemap to display the circulation figures by country and newspaper. Japan and China have the largest newspapers, dwarfing American giants like USA Today and The Wall Street Journal. The leader is Yomiuri Shimbun in Tokyo, with a whopping 14 million subscribers. 

Check out the viz


Taiwan’s Economic Growth

By Matt Stiles | | Topics: Uncategorized

Elise and I returned yesterday from a 10-day trip to Taiwan, a country whose political status remains in dispute.

After a decade of rule by a political party that supported independence from China, the current government under president Ma Ying-jeou believes in greater cooperation between the two countries. Part of the reason that message resonated with voters is because Taiwan is no longer the economic powerhouse in Asia. Stronger ties to China could boost Taiwan’s economic fortunes, the argument went.

This simple line chart, built with Many Eyes, visualizes Taiwan’s economic growth rate from 1952 to 2008, when Ma took office. The country once enjoyed double-digit growth rates like those seen recently in China. In 1987, for example, the growth rate was 13 percent. No more. In 2008, the rate was less than one percent.  

View larger version | Source: Taiwan Statistical Data Book 2009

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