Thomson Reuters: Unintentional Venn Diagram

From our friends over at FlowingData.

Most people probably wouldn’t think much about this poster that shows the values of Thomson Reuters. But when you think of the graphic as a Venn diagram, it’s hard to see much else.

Unintentional-Venn-Diagram

Infographic: Texas Trivia

Readers:

Tomorrow is my last day in Austin and I thought I would end this trip with a fun infographic from The Great State of Texas.

Here is an infographic of Texas Trivia from Cash1Loans from their blog site this past July.

This infographic is filled with trivia about the Lone Star State. If you live in Texas or are simply curious about Texas, then explore all the fun and interesting facts.

Here are some of the interesting statistics that you may not know:

  • Texas was an independent nation from 1836 to 1845. When it was annexed in 1845, it retained the right to fly its flag at the same height as the national flag.
  • The World’s first rodeo was in Pecos, TX and occurred on July 4, 1883.
  • The battle cry “Remember the Alamo!” is usually thought to be said by Sam Houston but was actually coined by Sidney Sherman. Sherman was a Texas general.
  • The most popular snack foods in Texas are Frito pies (a bag of Fritos mixed with chili, cheese, and onions eaten straight from the bag), peanuts in Dr Pepper, jalapenos, beef jerky, and corn dogs.
  • King Ranch, located in South Texas, is larger than Rhode Island.
  • More wool comes from the state of Texas than any other state in the United States.
  • If you live in North Texas and the Panhandle then you’ve probably seen quite a few tornadoes. With an average of 139 tornadoes per year, Texas experiences the most in the United States.
  • Aransas Wildlife Refuge is the winter home of North America’s only remaining flock of whooping cranes.

Best regards y’all,

Michael

Texas Triva Infographic

Infographic: Armadillos (Municipios) by Alfredo Vela

Readers:

I am back in Austin this week on business. I wanted to showcase another Texas-themed infographic and have chosen one from Alfredo Vela. I have always been fascinated with the Armadillo and found Mr. Vela’s infographic full of great information on our little animal friend.

Alfredo VelaAlfredo Vela has developed his career in the world of corporate training in the areas of ICT, IT, media policy and social skills. He has directed several companies in this field, and is currently managing partner of the Social Enterprises Media ICT and Training, a company that has 5 focus areas:. communication, training, social media, digital marketing and infographics. Mr. Vela has given more than 40,000 hours of training over 250 conferences throughout the Spanish geography and maintains several blogs, one in the journal Economic Castilla y León , another in ICT and training , with almost 5 million visitors and a third called Infografiasencastellano.com.  

He has worked for Renault , Michelin, General Council of the Judiciary, General Council of Lawyers, National Employment, Public Employment Service of Castile and Leon, coercio and Industry Chamber of Valladolid, Vallisoletana Confederation of Employers, University of Valladolid, University of Jaén, European School of Marketing and Business … among others.

I hope you enjoy his infographic as much as I do.

Best Regards,

Michael

Infographic: The Ebola Virus: Are You at Risk?

Zaire Ebola Virus is a great threat to the people living in West Africa. Since this past winter (2014), 1,323 people have been infected. The death rates are ongoing in Guinea, Sierra Leone, Liberia and most recently Nigeria. Originally spreading through contaminated bush meat, this deadly virus has caused alarm worldwide. Should you worry about Ebola?

View the HelloMD infographic below to find out and learn more about Ebola.

Ebola_Infographic

National Geographic: Food Desert in America

Readers:

In the past, I have encouraged you to submit your data visualizations on subjects that are important to you as well as would provide awareness to the rest of us.

Anna Kukelhaus Dynan, from The National Geographic Society, sent me an important graphic that National Geographic magazine has put together. It is a very insightful graphic regarding hunger in America, specifically on what a “food desert” (areas where households lack a car and are located more than half a mile from a supermarket) looks like. The graphic, below, running in this month’s issue of National Geographic magazine, along with a feature story on “The New Face of Hunger” (part of their 8 month series on issues of food security and sustainability), which depicts the food desert that is Houston, Texas (affecting 43,000 households). The graphic is startling, as the average person may not realize that the typical hungry American is not necessarily homeless, but employed, with a cell phone, and other “stuff.” The feature article explores why and how people become food insecure, a topic that recently made headlines due to The Washington Post article about the mother who drove her Mercedes to pick up food stamps.

I am honored that Anna reached out to me to run this graphic. This is a critical issue in America today that we all need to be aware of.

Best regards,

Michael

Help for the Hungry

More than 48 million Americans rely on what used to be called food stamps, now SNAP: the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program.

Hunger - US Map

 

As the face of hunger has changed, so has its address. The town of Spring, Texas, is where ranchland meets Houston’s sprawl, a suburb of curving streets and shade trees and privacy fences. The suburbs are the home of the American dream, but they are also a place where poverty is on the rise. As urban housing has gotten more expensive, the working poor have been pushed out. Today hunger in the suburbs is growing faster than in cities, having more than doubled since 2007.

Yet in the suburbs America’s hungry don’t look the part either. They drive cars, which are a necessity, not a luxury, here. Cheap clothes and toys can be found at yard sales and thrift shops, making a middle-class appearance affordable. Consumer electronics can be bought on installment plans, so the hungry rarely lack phones or televisions. Of all the suburbs in the country, northwest Houston is one of the best places to see how people live on what might be called a minimum-wage diet: It has one of the highest percentages of households receiving SNAP assistance where at least one family member holds down a job. The Jefferson sisters, Meme and Kai, live here in a four-bedroom, two-car-garage, two-bath home with Kai’s boyfriend, Frank, and an extended family that includes their invalid mother, their five sons, a daughter-in-law, and five grandchildren. The house has a rickety desktop computer in the living room and a television in most rooms, but only two actual beds; nearly everyone sleeps on mattresses or piles of blankets spread out on the floor.

Though all three adults work full-time, their income is not enough to keep the family consistently fed without assistance. The root problem is the lack of jobs that pay wages a family can live on, so food assistance has become the government’s—and society’s—way to supplement low wages. The Jeffersons receive $125 in food stamps each month, and a charity brings in meals for their bedridden matriarch.

Like most of the new American hungry, the Jeffersons face not a total absence of food but the gnawing fear that the next meal can’t be counted on. When Meme shows me the family’s food supply, the refrigerator holds takeout boxes and beverages but little fresh food. Two cupboards are stocked with a smattering of canned beans and sauces. A pair of freezers in the garage each contain a single layer of food, enough to fill bellies for just a few days. Meme says she took the children aside a few months earlier to tell them they were eating too much and wasting food besides. “I told them if they keep wasting, we have to go live on the corner, beg for money, or something.”

Stranded in a Food Desert

Tens of thousands of people in Houston and in other parts of the U.S. live in a food desert: They’re more than half a mile from a supermarket and don’t own a car, because of poverty, illness, or age. Public transportation may not fill the gap. Small markets or fast-food restaurants may be within walking distance, but not all accept vouchers. If they do, costs may be higher and nutritious options fewer.

 

Hunger - Houston_map_web

Jacqueline Christian is another Houston mother who has a full-time job, drives a comfortable sedan, and wears flattering clothes. Her older son, 15-year-old Ja’Zarrian, sports bright orange Air Jordans. There’s little clue to the family’s hardship until you learn that their clothes come mostly from discount stores, that Ja’Zarrian mowed lawns for a summer to get the sneakers, that they’re living in a homeless shelter, and that despite receiving $325 in monthly food stamps, Christian worries about not having enough food “about half of the year.”

Christian works as a home health aide, earning $7.75 an hour at a job that requires her to crisscross Houston’s sprawl to see her clients. Her schedule, as much as her wages, influences what she eats. To save time she often relies on premade food from grocery stores. “You can’t go all the way home and cook,” she says.
On a day that includes running a dozen errands and charming her payday loan officer into giving her an extra day, Christian picks up Ja’Zarrian and her seven-year-old, Jerimiah, after school. As the sun drops in the sky, Jerimiah begins complaining that he’s hungry. The neon glow of a Hartz Chicken Buffet appears up the road, and he starts in: Can’t we just get some gizzards, please?

Christian pulls into the drive-through and orders a combo of fried gizzards and okra for $8.11. It takes three declined credit cards and an emergency loan from her mother, who lives nearby, before she can pay for it. When the food finally arrives, filling the car with the smell of hot grease, there’s a collective sense of relief. On the drive back to the shelter the boys eat until the gizzards are gone, and then drift off to sleep.

Christian says she knows she can’t afford to eat out and that fast food isn’t a healthy meal. But she’d felt too stressed—by time, by Jerimiah’s insistence, by how little money she has—not to give in. “Maybe I can’t justify that to someone who wasn’t here to see, you know?” she says. “But I couldn’t let them down and not get the food.”

 Sources
—————————————————

Tracie McMillan is the author of The American Way of Eating and a Senior Fellow at the Schuster Institute for Investigative Journalism at Brandeis University. Photographers Kitra Cahana, Stephanie Sinclair, and Amy Toensing are known for their intimate, sensitive portraits of people.

The magazine thanks The Rockefeller Foundation and members of the National Geographic Society for their generous support of this series of articles.

Maps and graphics by Virginia W. Mason and Jason Treat, NGM Staff. Help for the Hungry, sources: USDA; Food Research and Action Center; Center on Budget and Policy Priorities. Stranded in a Food Desert, sources: USDA; City of Houston; U.S. Census Bureau. Crop Subsidies, research: Amanda Hobbs. Sources: Mississippi Department of Human Services; Environmental Working Group; National Cancer Institute.

 

 

Infographic: A Guide to Austin Food Trucks

Austin Food Trucks

Infographic: Austin City Guide by Loku

Readers:

I am in Austin, Texas for some training. Here is a neat infographic that was created for SXSW 2012 that depicts what to see that is the best of the city while you’re in Austin. Find out what the locals do and the favorite Austinite hotspots with this infographic guide created by Loku.

Enjoy!

Michael

loku-sxsw-guide_5029153325c31

Infographics Related to Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 from The Daily Mail Online

Source: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2697010/Faces-innocent-victims-Melbourne-real-estate-agent-wife-student-leading-AIDS-doctors-confirmed-dead-Flight-MH17-terrorist-attack-killed-298-people-board.html

Click on images to enlarge

article-2697010-1FC63B5100000578-793_964x1618 infographic-map-flight-mh17

 

Infographic: Facts about Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17

Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 crashed in eastern Ukraine yesterday, carrying 283 passengers and 15 crew members from the Netherlands to Malaysia.

The infographic below from the UK website, The Conversation, shows confirmed information as of 8:24am BST today.

Ukrainian authorities had closed airspace up to 32,000ft. Despite this, the aircraft’s flight route was declared safe by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO). MH17 was flying at 33,000ft when it was hit by a surface-to-air missile.

The aircraft did not make a distress call.

Facts About MH17 Infographic

WIRED: A Redesigned Parking Sign So Simple That You’ll Never Get Towed

web-snow-day-1

Your car gets towed, and who do you blame? Yourself? God no, you blame that impossibly confusing parking sign. It’s a fair accusation, really. Of all the questionable communication tools our cities use, parking signs are easily among the worst offenders. There are arrows pointing every which way, ambiguous meter instructions and permit requirements. A sign will tell you that you can park until 8 am, then right below it another reading you’ll be towed. It’s easy to imagine that beyond basic tests for legibility, most of these signs have never been vetted by actual drivers.

Like most urban drivers, Nikki Sylianteng was sick of getting tickets. During her time in Los Angeles, the now Brooklyn-based designer paid the city far more than she would’ve liked to. So she began thinking about how she might be able to solve this problem through design. She realized that with just a little more focus on usability, parking signs could actually be useful. “I’m not setting out to change the entire system,” she says. “It’s just something that I thought would help frustrated drivers.” [1]

Sylianteng notes: [2]

I’ve gotten one-too-many parking tickets because I’ve misinterpreted street parking signs. The current design also poses a driving hazard as it requires drivers to slow down while trying to follow the logic of what the sign is really saying. It shouldn’t have to be this complicated.

The only questions on everyone’s minds are:
1. “Can I park here now?”
2. “Until what time?”

My strategy was to visualize the blocks of time when parking is allowed and not allowed. I kept everything else the same – the colors and the form factor – as my intention with this redesign is to show how big a difference a thoughtful, though conservative and low budget, approach can make in terms of time and stress saved for the driver. I tried to stay mindful of the constraints that a large organization like the Department of Transportation must face for a seemingly small change such as this.

01 two-step

The sign has undergone multiple iterations, but the most recent features a parking schedule that shows a whole 24 hours for every day of the week. The times you can park are marked by blocks of green, the times you can’t are blocked in a candy-striped red and white. It’s totally stripped down, almost to the point of being confusing itself. But Sylianteng says there’s really no need for the extraneous detailed information we’ve become accustomed to. “Parking signs are trying to communicate very accurately what the rules actually are,” she says. “I’ve never looked at a sign and felt like there was any value in knowing why I couldn’t park. These designs don’t say why, but the ‘what’ is very clear.”

Sylianteng’s design still has a way to go. First, there’s the issue of color blindness, a factor she’s keenly aware of. The red and green are part of the legacy design from current signs, but she says it’s likely she’d ultimately change the colors to something more universal like blue. Then there’s the fact that urban parking is a far more complex affair than most of us care to know. There’s an entire manual on parking regulations; and Sylianteng’s design does gloss over rules concerning different types of vehicles and space parameters indicating where people can park. She’s working on ways to incorporate all of that without reverting back to the information overload she was trying to avoid in the first place. [1]

redesigned-parking-inline2

Sylianteng also posted on her blog an illustration of the problem in terms of biocost, as part of her Cybernetics class with Paul Pangaro. [2]

Biocost_ParkingSign

Sylianteng has been going around Manhattan and Brooklyn hanging up rogue revamped parking signs. “A friend of mine called it functional graffiti,” she says. She’ll stick a laminated version right below the city-approved version and ask drivers to leave comments. In that way, Sylianteng’s design is still a ways away from being a reality, but so far, she’s gotten pretty good feedback. “One person wrote: ‘The is awesome. The mayor should hire you.’” [1]

————————————————————————

Sources:

[1] Liz Stinson, A Redesigned Parking Sign So Simple That You’ll Never Get Towed, Wired, July 15, 2014, http://www.wired.com/2014/07/a-redesigned-parking-sign-so-simple-youll-never-get-towed-again.

[2] Nikki Sylianteng, blog, http://nikkisylianteng.com/project/parking-sign-redesign/.

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