It really pleases me when my regular tour of visualisation blogs turns up something which answers a question that I have, so this month’s visualisations concentrate on information I’m glad to have found.

How infectious is Ebola?

I was surprised, when attending a hospital appointment last week, to be asked questions related to the Ebola virus. Obviously I’d heard that it is spreading in Africa, but I’d read somewhere that it was spread in a way similar to HIV and I’ve never been worried that I could accidentally catch that. However, the lady in the hospital told me that Ebola is more infectious.
Seems not … the below chart from “Knowledge is Beautiful”, the very recently published sequel to “Information is Beautiful” by David McCandless shows that untreated HIV is both more deadly and more infectious than Ebola.


The Washington Post have visualised the same information … Ebola is more deadly but much slower to spread … in a simulation comparing it with other infectious diseases.

How to get the best possible sleep

A few weeks ago, the website “Daily Infographic”, featured an infographic on sleep. Since I’ve recently been getting up much much earlier than I’d like to, it’s unusually important to me that the fewer hours sleep I get are of the best quality possible.

It’s nice to know that my morning exercise routine is a good fit for my “chronotype”. I like the flow of the infographic, too, how it pieces together different snippets of information about factors which influence sleep.

What adverts do I see?

An interesting add-on for google chrome is now in its Alpha release. It’s called “Floodwatch” and allows you to track what adverts you have been played whilst browsing and compare the kinds of things you see with those that others are shown.

Once you’ve had the add-on running for a few days, it provides you with visual exploration options so that you can see which ads you’ve been played, who supplied them, what themes there are …. For those of you who are hungry to gather information about yourself, this might be an intriguing tool. The visualisation types used are also fairly non-standard and interesting to view.

What’s changed on earth in my lifetime?

In the news all the time there are warnings about how human kind is changing the earth for the worse, so it’s fascinating that the BBC have come up with a project  “Your Life on Earth” which allows you to enter your date of birth and see what has changed in your lifetime.
Apparently there will be enough oil and gas available to last my lifetime and the 84th solar eclipse of my life is on Wednesday.

Pretty things …

There are data visualisers who take from the richness of data available and just make pretty.
Two examples I’ve seen this month are:

1. Sensory maps e.g. the below map of  Amsterdam, created from the locations of scents recorded by a band of “smell walkers”

201410 CB4 Amsterdam.JPG201410 CB5 Key.JPG

2. Orientation maps, created by algorithms which colour and thicken streets according to how closely they map to a grid formation with each other. The London version is, unsurprisingly, quite chaotic, but not all cities are.