Data Visualization Projects

The Military-Civilian Divide

This data animation commissioned by shows how the burdens of war are shouldered by fewer Americans than ever before. I designed a 3D environment that could accommodate and move the viewer through different types of storytelling, including charts and video, but the core feature is a visualization of 100 dots representing 100% of the U.S. population. The dots move around and transform to show how many people served in the military through history. The video was produced by Joe Posner at Vox in partnership with Veterans Coming Home, a cross-platform public media initiative made possible by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.

40 Years of the American Home

Featured on FastCo.Design, Curbed, and Good Housekeeping, this animated visualization for CNNMoney shows the evolution of new single-family homes in America over the last 40 years. Reflecting data from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, and the U.S. Department of Commerce, the square footage of the median house increases, while various features change. Narration by Andrew Bergmann.

Diversity Among Winners at the Oscars

Ahead of the 2015 Oscars ceremony, one of the big stories was the lack of diversity among the nominees. I took a look at nominations for Black, Hispanic and Asian people throughout the history of the Academy Awards, and used marbles coming together to form an Oscar statuette to represent the racial disparity of winners in the top categories. The resulting video was featured on BuzzFeed and Salon, as well as DesignTAXI, and both Co.Design and Co.Create at Fast Company. An updated 2016 version was acquired by Free Speech TV (home of "Democracy Now!") and shown as an interstitial in the days leading up to the ceremony.

Market Music

A kind of sequel to a 2010 piece I did called The Dow Piano (seen lower down this page), this 3D animated data visualization for CNNMoney translates the ups and downs of the 2013 stock market into a reggae song. The pitch for each note is determined by the daily closing numbers of the S&P 500. The visualization was featured on Fast Company's Co.Design blog as Infographic of the Day, and was exhibited as part of a great show called Dataism at the famous Droog Gallery in Amsterdam, in February 2014.

Sixty Seconds of Salary

Published by CNNMoney and shown on CNN, this piece was shared over 7,000 times on Facebook and generated over 2,000 tweets. It shows salaries accumulating second by second, dramatically comparing the incomes of Kobe Bryant, ExxonMobil CEO Rex Tillerson, a teacher, and a minimum wage earner, among others. The narrated animation was written up on several sites, including Popular Science and Fast Company's Co.Design blog, and was selected to be part of an exclusive Time Warner exhibition in New York organized in association with Future of Storytelling. The project was also linked by Swissmiss and digg, and was nominated for a Loeb Award, the most prestigious honor in business journalism.

Stanley Cup Summed Up

Featured on Gizmodo, CBS Sports, CBC, Yahoo! and various sports and information design sites, and named one of The 10 Best Sports Infographics Of 2012 by Deadspin, this animated ambient data visualization of all goals and penalties of the 2012 NHL Stanley Cup playoffs created some waves. BuzzFeed wrote that "a new bar has been set for infographic designers." I don't necessarily think information designers should all race to make slightly abstract, drawn-out animations with accompanying data-driven music, but I'm flattered nonetheless.

Is The Internet Awake?

Another project of mine to be named Infographic of the Day at Fast Company's Co.Design blog, this animated HTML5 visualization went viral on Twitter and was widely covered in the online press, including Andrew Sullivan's The Dish. It later appeared on Swissmiss, and at the end of 2014, years after its creation, it was included in an exhibition at The Museum of Human Achievement in Austin, Texas. The concept is an "approximate world clock" that tells you whether someone in another country is likely asleep or awake, without a lot more granularity than that. I wanted a world clock that was more based on how we perceive and talk about time ("it's late morning") rather than the machine-like approach most online world clocks take ("02:47:21 AM UTC+11"). Click through to see it in action, albeit on a semi-abandoned page from my old website.

The Dow Piano

Stock trades determine the songwriting in this forebear to "Market Music," translating the ups and downs of 2010 into musical notes. This audio-visualization is rather outdated both in design and technology, but it garnered a good deal of attention at the time of its release. It was featured on Popular Science, Swissmiss, Co.Design (who subsequently named it one of the best infographics of 2011), FlowingData and other visualization sites. Additionally, it inspired the programmers of EA Sports' Fight Night Champion boxing game to make a similar system tracking their code revisions. Possibly related: NPR's Planet Money later produced a show where home prices were translated into brief operas. Click through to see and hear it, although again this lives on a page from my old website.

The Weather Wheel

A slowly rotating wheel displays historical weather data for 50 major cities in an innovative and novel way. Blue dots shrink and grow to indicate seasonal rainfall, while arrows orbit representing wind speeds. Featured on and various design sites, and included in the aforementioned exhibition at The Museum of Human Achievement in Austin, Texas. Once again, this older piece is on a page from my previous site, but it does remain functional.

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About Bård Edlund