This month I received by email a lovely infographic. Whilst flicking through various data visualisation blogs I see tens, if not hundreds of infographics every month and I’m sure my ability to answer trivia questions on all manner of interesting topics increases with every read. It’s rare, though, that I’m as impressed with the quality of the data presentation as I am interested by the subject matter portrayed.

How to use sunscreen

David McCandless’s scrollable infographic on the subject of sunscreen is an exception. I learnt on a topic that will be useful for my health and I enjoyed the presentation style – the colour, the variety of chart types, the use of visuals, diagrams and words. It’s quick to read and an enormous amount of information is contained. Information is, as in his words, truly beautiful.

The next three articles I’ve selected this month are all related to maps, somewhat tangentially. I’ve seen a lot of data visualisation articles about mapping tools over the past few weeks, about the need to know how to read them because of how easy it is to mislead with them, a variety of ways to creatively create them using data viz softwares…. So I gathered together some of the best maps I’ve seen this month:

Japanese satellite maps

Every ten minutes, a Japanese satellite takes a photo of the earth from space and these pictures have been joined together to make a view of the globe, with all its weather systems, moving slowly, spinning. It’s an incredibly beautiful perspective on our planet.

London’s green spaces

Greenspace Information for Greater London (GIGL) has created a map which makes their case for calling London an “Urban Park”, with its 8 million trees making it the world’s largest urban forest.

I like how London has a lot of green, open space to spend these beautiful days of summer in. I like how someone has taken the time to show how the whole of London is scattered with greenery, how our city is special because of it.

Making maps with Excel pivot tables

This last map related link is an inspired trick using longitude and latitude values to make a conditionally formatted heat map in Excel. If, like me, you are thrilled by simple tricks to get beautiful data visualisation then read this article.

It’s well worth the time.