Timelines Revisited

This is a web site showing on-going Microsoft research team working on various timeline visual representations.

There are many ways to visualize event sequences as timelines. In a storytelling context where the intent is to convey multiple narrative points, a richer set of timeline designs may be more appropriate than the narrow range that has been used for exploratory data analysis by the research community. Informed by a survey of 263 timelines, we present a design space for storytelling with timelines that balances expressiveness and effectiveness, identifying 14 design choices characterized by three dimensions: representation, scale, and layout. Twenty combinations of these choices are viable timeline designs that can be matched to different narrative points, while smooth animated transitions between narrative points allow for the presentation of a cohesive story, an important aspect of both interactive storytelling and data videos. We further validate this design space by realizing the full set of viable timeline designs and transitions in a proof-of-concept sandbox implementation that we used to produce seven example timeline stories. Ultimately, this work is intended to inform and inspire the design of future tools for storytelling with timelines.

Reference: Timelines Revisited


Former Microsoft CEO Launches New Tool For Finding Government Data

This Tax Day, former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer launched a new tool designed to make government spending and revenue more accessible to the average citizen.

The website — USAFacts.org — has been slow and buggy for users on Tuesday, apparently due to the level of traffic. It offers interactive graphics showing data on revenue, spending, demographics and program missions.

Reference: Former Microsoft CEO Launches New Tool For Finding Government Data

Expanding Medicaid may lower all premiums

This is a very good data insight.

… The Obama administration for years has been pleading with states to expand their Medicaid programs and offer health coverage to low-income people. Now it has a further argument in its favor: Expansion of Medicaid could lower insurance prices for everyone else.

… By comparing counties across state borders, and adjusting for several differences between them, the researchers calculated that expanding Medicaid meant marketplace premiums that were 7 percent lower.

Reference: Expanding Medicaid may lower all premiums

The Surprising History of the Infographic

This is a nice article about infographic history.

Reference: The Surprising History of the Infographic

How Much You Have to Make to Be in the Top 1% of Your State

1 percenters aren’t all millionaires. The household income threshold for being in the top 1% starts at $228K a year, depending on your state.

Reference: How Much You Have to Make to Be in the Top 1% of Your State

The PhD Degrees That Pay Off With The Highest Salaries

According to research conducted by Payscale, Electrical & computer engineering is America’s most lucrative PhD, with early career pay reported to be approximately $102,000. That would increase to $142,000 by the mid-point of a candidate’s career. It isn’t all STEM, however. Payscale reports that a PhD in economics also nets a high salary, in the region of $134,000 per year by the mid-point in a worker’s career.

Reference: The PhD Degrees That Pay Off With The Highest Salaries

This Interactive Map Shows Whether It’s More Affordable to Rent or Buy a Home, by County

Deciding whether to rent or buy a home is more than just about the numbers. However, money is a very big part of the equation—as is location and what buying and rental prices are like in your neighborhood. RealtyTrac’s interactive map gives a clear picture of affordability for these housing options.

The data is based on rental data from the US Department of Housing and Urban Development, wage data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, and home sales data from RealtyTrac in 504 counties with a population of at least 100,000 people.

Reference: This Interactive Map Shows Whether It’s More Affordable to Rent or Buy a Home, by County