Visualizing North Korea’s Missile Launches

By Matt Stiles | | Topics: North Korea, Policy & Politics, South Korea

Despite international objections, North Korea has launched four ballistic missiles in the last week, including one that flew over Japan, raising regional tensions about the rogue state’s weapons development even higher.

For those of us who live in South Korea, such provocations have become commonplace, especially since the North’s new leader, Kim Jong Un, took over after his father’s death in late 2011. They interrupt Sunday breakfasts or even national holidays, but they haven’t yet seemed like a real threat.

(Of course, they can just use their ample artillery along the border to strike Seoul, where I live).

The missile testing pace and the North’s increasingly technically ability have increased significantly in the last years, however, causing more and more heartburn in the region.

This chart shows the pace of testing over the years, including missiles that “failed” in flight:

The North has over the years developed (and borrowed) its own set of missiles, each with varying capabilities. Lately they’ve grown more powerful, though not always reliable.

Here’s how often they’ve used them, by missile type:

Since 1984, there have been at least 115 missile launches. But those tests have come from a select group of locations around the North: airfields and testing sites. Here are those tests locations, aggregated, with larger bubbles representing more launches:

And this map shows each launch in time order, with a flurry beginning in 2013. Colors change based on the missile type:

This is just a quick post, created largely because I wanted to build another proportional symbols map with D3. For a more thorough analysis, check out this post.

Plotting ‘Multicides’

By Matt Stiles | | Topics: Uncategorized

Bill Marsh and other artists at The New York Times created this timeline of world atrocities over the centuries.  

Estimating the tolls from such horrors is an inexact science, given war’s nature and the mysteries of antiquity. The deadliest “multicides” are more plentiful in recent centuries, given that there were more people to kill and better ways to kill them on a grand scale. Even so, killings as a percentage of all humanity are probably declining. Here is a look at the sweep of human brutality presented in a timeline.

Click the image to see the full-sized version

Mapping ONA Attendees

By Matt Stiles | | Topics: Uncategorized

More than 1,000 people were on the attendee list for last weekend’s Online News Association convention in Boston, according to a list the organizers graciously released. 

The data weren’t perfect. Only about 3 in 4 attendees listed their home cities. Of them, about 650 were from the United States. 

As you can see in this map, the Northeast drew a heavy contingent, with Washington, D.C., New York City, and Boston leading the list. Wide swaths of the country, however, weren’t represented: 

See larger map | Download data

UPDATE (9/27): See a different (and perhaps more interesting) version

Comparing National Obesity

By Matt Stiles | | Topics: Uncategorized

I just noticed this cool tool by Alex Perez on that maps and charts American obesity by county. His interactive uses proportional symbols and colors to visualizes differences between, with larger bubble and darker reds representing increased obesity rates. Here’s Louisiana:


Selecting a county (or, in this case, a parish) highlights its corresponding distribution on scatter plots that compare the proportion of residents who smoke, or eat few vegetables, or don’t exercise. 

As you can see, Moorehouse Parish has a high obesity rate, in part because its residents aren’t lives that are as healthy as others: has posted other interactives like this in its developer showcase

Made with Tableau Public