Data Vis Dispatch, August 15

The best of last week’s big and small data visualizations

Welcome back to the 106th edition of Data Vis Dispatch! Every week, we’ll be publishing a collection of the best small and large data visualizations we find, especially from news organizations — to celebrate data journalism, data visualization, simple charts, elaborate maps, and their creators.

Recurring topics this week include the devastating Hawaiian fires, the energy transition, and Argentina’s open primaries.

First, the wildfires on Maui, Hawaii. The town of Lahaina was almost completely destroyed, including many historic buildings:

The Wall Street Journal: Why Are the Maui Wildfires So Devastating?, August 14
The New York Times: Mapping the Wildfire Destruction in Lahaina, August 11
USA Today: Maps, before-and-after images of the destruction in Hawaii caused by Maui fires, August 10
USA Today: How did the wildfires start in Maui? A combination of factors fueled disaster, August 11
The New York Times: Mapping the Damage From the Maui Wildfires, August 11
The Washington Post: How the Maui fires compare with some of the deadliest U.S. wildfires, August 11
USA Today: Maui wildfire map: A look at how Hurricane Dora and low humidity are fueling Hawaii fires, August 9
The Wall Street Journal: Officials Search for Remains of Maui Victims—and Answers for How the Wildfire Turned So Deadly, August 14

As our latest Dispatches show, wildfires are raging in many parts of the world. The NZZ visualizes that Mediterranean countries have to fight bigger fires than other European countries:

Neue Zürcher Zeitung: Vier Monate Waldbrandsaison: In Spanien und der Türkei könnte das zur Realität werden, August 13

And no surprise here: The cause of more and bigger fires, according to science, is climate change. Bloomberg has some excellent charts showing how higher temperatures are not just a problem in the summer, while the Süddeutsche Zeitung visualizes how hot cities can get at night:

Bloomberg: Rising Temperatures Are Wreaking Havoc Year-Round, August 14
The Wall Street Journal: Earth Just Had Its Hottest Month Ever. How Six Cities Are Coping, August 8
NASA: “July 2023 was the hottest month on record, according to our global temperature analysis. Overall, July was 0.43°F (0.24°C) warmer than any other July in NASA Earth’s record, and it’s likely due to human activity. Details:,” August 14 (Tweet)
Süddeutsche Zeitung: Heiße Nächte, August 11 El mapa de un verano de calor récord: compara la temperatura de cada día con la media histórica de tu provincia, August 14

The consequences of climate change visualized this week include health problems, increased erosion – and more swimming pools:

Financial Times: Third of England’s healthcare facilities at risk from heatwaves by 2050, August 10
Les Echos: La France face à l’inexorable érosion de son littoral, August 11
Le Figaro: Piscines privées : les Français plongent dans le grand bain, August 9

Another consequence: More clean energy; more electric cars. The New York Times and the Financial Times had big stories this week on the energy transition:

The New York Times: The Clean Energy Future Is Arriving Faster Than You Think, August 13
The New York Times: The Clean Energy Future Is Roiling Both Friends and Foes, August 14
The New York Times: The Clean Energy Future Is a Battle for Hearts and Minds, August 14
Financial Times: The battery revolution: rivals race for car market supremacy, August 14
Financial Times: The new commodity superpowers, August 8
Financial Times: Republican districts dominate US clean technology investment boom, August

Let’s talk about something positive for a moment: The beautiful Perseid meteor showers were most visible this past weekend! We hope you had crystal clear skies to see them.

USA Today: The Perseid meteor shower: A visual guide on where, when and how to see it, August 9
The Wall Street Journal: Perseid Meteor Shower 2023: When It Is and How to Watch the Peak, August 12

Argentina’s presidential primaries also took place over the weekend. Far-right outsider Javier Milei surprisingly took the lead:

Clarín: Resultados de las PASO: El mapa en vivo del escrutinio distrito por distrito, August 13
LA NACION: Mapa electoral: Los resultados en todo el país, August 13
CNN en Español: Mapa de resultados en vivo de las elecciones PASO 2023 en Argentina por provincias, August 13
Bloomberg: Argentina Election Live Results, August 14
The Economist: Latin American cities are struggling in the liveability ranking, August 11

As they have every week since last February, newsrooms also created maps of the war in Ukraine:

Le Temps: En graphiques – Comment la contre-offensive de Kiev se heurte aux fortifications russes, August 13
The Wall Street Journal: Inside a Volunteer Unit Driving Ukraine’s Counteroffensive Forward, August 10
The Wall Street Journal: Ukraine’s Sea Drones Alter Balance of Power in Black Sea, August 11
The Wall Street Journal: Returning Ukrainian Refugees Say There’s No Place Like Home, August 9

Other visualizations focused on the state of the economy. A job as a policeman in San Francisco or in A.I. seems to help against personal financial problems caused by inflation:

Tampa Bay Times: Rent increases are cooling in Tampa Bay, after nearly doubling since 2019, August 14
Neue Zürcher Zeitung: Wie deutsche Discounter Kunden mit dem Butterpreis in die Irre führen, August 9
San Francisco Chronicle: S.F.’s top-paid employee makes $640K. Here’s what every city worker gets paid, August 14
The Wall Street Journal: The $900,000 AI Job Is Here, August 14
Financial Times: Is Britain really as poor as Mississippi?, August 11
Les Echos: De moins en moins utilisé, le chèque reste le moyen de paiement le plus fraudé, August 9
The Wall Street Journal: What Wall Street’s Top Recession Gauge Is Saying Now, August 12
YouGov: Few Americans are aware of growth in the number of U.S. jobs, August 10

Too many line charts for your taste? Let’s look at more maps – they covered everything from votes and shark attacks to coup support and malaria:

The Wall Street Journal: Georgia Is Ground Zero for Trump Exhaustion as Another Indictment Looms, August 13
El País: Los ‘abstencionistas crónicos’ repitieron el 23-J: “Hay vecinos que ni saben cómo es el trámite para votar”, August 14
The Wall Street Journal: New York City Reopens Beach After Rare Shark-Bite Incident, August 9
The Wall Street Journal: At Center of Niger’s Coup Is One of America’s Favorite Generals, August 9
The Outlier: “96% of all malaria deaths are in Africa. It kills nearly 500,000 African children under 5 a year. The world’s first malaria vaccine will be deployed in 12 countries from the end of 2023,” August 11 (Tweet)

And in our miscellaneous section: Seems like Meta’s Twitter competitor Threads didn’t really take off – unlike subtitles, which are becoming more and more popular:

Financial Times: Meta’s Twitter rival Threads unravels, August 13
Reuters: Fast, cheap and deadly: How fentanyl replaced heroin and hooked America, August 9
USA Today: Not-so-friendly skies: Incidents of unruly passengers are rising, August 8
The Economist: To help schoolchildren in poor countries, reduce lead poisoning, August 10
YouGov: Most American adults under 30 prefer watching TV with subtitles — even when they know the language, August 11
Le Temps: En graphiques – Quel artiste de rap a le vocabulaire le plus riche?, August 14

What else we found interesting

The New York Times: With wordplay, wit and ingenuity, hip-hop artists are reshaping the way we speak, August 9
The New York Times: Rock ’n’ Roll According to the Chinese Communist Party, August 13
The Wall Street Journal: How to Avoid Looking Like a Fool, Iowa State Fair Edition, August 10

Help us make this dispatch better! We’d love to hear which newsletters, blogs, or social media accounts we need to follow to learn about interesting projects, especially from less-covered parts of the world (Asia, South America, Africa). Write us at or leave a comment below.

Want the Dispatch in your inbox every Tuesday? Sign up for our Blog Update newsletter!