All sorts of companies, including agencies like R/West, use data visualizations to tell stories from numbers. Understanding trends, correlations, outliers, and other behaviors within data sets is tricky if you’re just looking at a spreadsheet or database. Here are a few inspiring, thought-provoking, and quirky examples of data visualization.

Physical mapping

Finding the shortest path to visit all 48 capitols in the Continental United States

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Plotting millions of journal entries from ship logs from 1700-1900 to reveal trade routes

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Animating work versus home behavior flow in Manhattan

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Overlaying histograms of world population by latitude and longitude

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Comparing human routes and dog routes while hiking

http://imgur.com/a/R8L9h

 

Planning for terraforming on the Moon and Mars

http://vizual-statistix.tumblr.com/post/110268185576/terraforming-other-planets-is-a-common-theme-of

 

Suggesting it’s not always about the shortest route

http://www.ted.com/talks/daniele_quercia_happy_maps

 

Going West, young man (and woman)

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Mapping US history

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Human behavior

Giving high school students a little boost

http://imgur.com/4nnbyru

 

Naming US-born male babies (Raj, Rajiv, and Faruq aren’t as popular here)

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Finding out what’s most likely to kill you, depending on your age

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Learning everything you wanted to know about pooping, and then some

http://imgur.com/a/kTx7r

 

Comparing dating texts to married texts

http://adashofdata.com/2014/10/14/how-text-messages-change-from-dating-to-marriage/?utm_content=buffer80867&utm_medium=social&utm_source=facebook.com&utm_campaign=buffer

 

Sup, bro? Yo, dude!

http://qz.com/316906/the-dude-map-how-american-men-refer-to-their-bros/

 

Measuring cumulative damage caused by Calvin

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Shearing a wealth of data about facial hair (this needs to be updated)

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Visualizing hand value in Texas Hold’em Poker

http://chrisbeaumont.org/holdem_odds/#8H+QS

 

Searching for, and finding, Waldo

http://www.randalolson.com/2015/02/03/heres-waldo-computing-the-optimal-search-strategy-for-finding-waldo/

 

Beating heart beating hard during a marriage proposal

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Understanding correlation and causation

Visualizations of data correlations that tell us absolutely nothing about causations

http://www.tylervigen.com/

 

Written by: Alex Head