Data Vis Dispatch, August 17

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

Welcome back to the ninth 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 natural disaster, the US Census, and the swift advance of the Taliban.

In the past few days, one visual story has overtaken all the others. Government control collapsed across Afghanistan as the Taliban took province after province:

Agence France-Presse: “The Taliban’s increasing hold over Afghanistan. #AFPgraphics map showing parts of Afghanistan under government control and territories under the influence of the Taliban, from April to August,” August 12 (Tweet)
The Guardian: Taliban tighten grip on approaches to Kabul in Afghanistan offensive, August 12
Agence France-Presse: “The Taliban takeover of Afghanistan: how the provincial cities fell in August,” August 17 (Tweet)
Mohammed Haddad: “#Afghanistan: Mapping the advance of the Taliban An animated map showing how and when the Taliban captured 26 out of the country’s 34 provincial capitals in just 10 days,” August 15 (Tweet, Article)
El Confidencial: El mapa del Afganistán tomado por los talibanes: así ha sido la conquista ‘muyahidín,’ August 16
NBC: 5 days: The key dates that led to a Taliban takeover in Afghanistan, August 16
The Wall Street Journal: How the Taliban Took Over Afghanistan’s Provincial Capitals, Including Kabul, August 16

Although maps clearly dominated on this topic, some newsrooms showed us the captured territory in chart form:

The New York Times: 20 Years of Defense, Erased by the Taliban in a Few Months, August 14
Zeit Online: Der Blitzvormarsch der Taliban, August 16

Most people might not consider the release of the 2020 US Census results a story to rival the Taliban rout — but in data visualization, it just about was. At stake is the reapportionment of congressional seats:

CNN: Census release shows America is more diverse and more multiracial than ever, August 12
The Associated Press: Census data puts target on rural, Rust Belt House districts, August 14
FiveThirtyEight: How The House Got Stuck At 435 Seats, August 12

The nationwide trends were low population growth and increasing racial and ethnic diversity:

The New York Times: Where the Racial Makeup of the U.S. Shifted in the Last Decade, August 12
The Washington Post: Mapping America’s racial population shifts over the last decade, August 13
NPR: What The New Census Data Shows About Race Depends On How You Look At It, August 13
The Washington Post: A Colorado county offers a glimpse of America’s future, August 13

A number of interactive tools allowed readers to explore the changes in their own neighborhoods:

The San Francisco Chronicle: 2020 Census: Changes in population and racial makeup of Bay Area neighborhoods, August 14
CNN: Race and ethnicity across the nation, August 12
The Washington Post: How the racial makeup of where you live has changed since 1990, August 13
The Washington Post: Where America’s developed areas are growing: ‘Way off into the horizon,’ August 11

A major earthquake in Haiti was this week’s headline natural disaster:

The New York Times: Haiti News: Search for Survivors After Quake Kills Nearly 1,300, August 15
Reuters: Earthquake in Haiti, August 17

And we continued a summer of devastating heat, drought, and wildfire (not to mention floods):

The New York Times: Hidden Toll of the Northwest Heat Wave: Hundreds of Extra Deaths, August 11
The Wall Street Journal: Severe Drought Could Threaten Power Supply in West for Years to Come, August 14
San Francisco Chronicle: Bay Area Drought Map & Tracker, August 16
Neue Zürcher Zeitung: In diesen europäischen Ländern wüten Waldbrände: eine Übersicht in 8 Grafiken, August 12
Reuters: Extreme heat and wildfires hit the Mediterranean region, August 12
Süddeutsche Zeitung: Brennt es wirklich häufiger?, August 11
Neue Zürcher Zeitung: Mit Satellitenbildern lässt sich rekonstruieren, wie auf der griechischen Insel Euböa 50 910 Hektare verbrannten, August 13
Zeit Online: Wenn Südeuropa brennt, August 11
Financial Times: California struggles to control fire devastation wrought by global warming, August 13
The Wall Street Journal: Climate-Change Report Points to Rise of Flash Flooding, August 10

The underlying cause is warming caused by carbon emissions — but neither the risks nor the blame are equally shared:

Quartz: We read the 4000-page IPCC climate report so you don’t have to, August 10
The Economist: Demand for air conditioning is set to surge by 2050, August 10
The Economist: Can Europe go green without nuclear power?, August 15
New Statesman: The US produces the same carbon emissions as 89 countries in the Global South, August 10

Plus… there’s a pandemic. Vaccines are still effective:

The New York Times: See How Vaccines Can Make the Difference in Delta Variant’s Impact, August 12
Le Monde: Covid-19 : neuf fois plus de non-vaccinés sont admis en soins critiques, August 13
El Diario: Los fallecidos de la quinta ola igualan a los de la cuarta pero los contagios se han cuadruplicado, August 10
FiveThirtyEight: Unvaccinated America, In 5 Charts, August 13
The Washington Post: Spread of delta variant ignites covid hot spots in highly vaccinated parts of the U.S., Post analysis finds, August 12

But they haven’t stopped a fresh wave of Delta variant cases, or returned things to normal at school or at work:

CNN: One month later: These maps show how quickly Covid engulfed the US again, August 11
The Wall Street Journal: Covid-19 Cases Surge as Students Return to Schools, August 13
McKinsey & Company: Educating K–12 students amid COVID-19: The parental perspective, August 10
The Economist: For programmers, remote working is becoming the norm, August 11

In politics, early elections have been called in Canada and the German campaign continues as well:

Le Devoir: Revisitez la Chambre des communes à sa dissolution, August 16
The Economist: Who will succeed Angela Merkel?, August 11

Finally, in general topics, it’s fair to say the theme of the week was “circles”:

The New York Times: Biden Administration Prompts Largest Permanent Increase in Food Stamps, August 15
Bloomberg: MacKenzie Scott’s Money Bombs Are Single Handedly Reshaping America, August 12
Süddeutsche Zeitung: Strand der Hoffnungslosen, August 12
The Economist: By the numbers, Lionel Messi is European football’s best scorer ever, August 14
South China Morning Post: Cashing in on gold, August 12

What else we found interesting

The New York Times: The Hidden Melodies of Subways Around the World, August 13
ESPN: Which LaLiga team should you root for?, August 10
FiveThirtyEight: What If The House Of Representatives Had More Than 435 Seats?, August 12
ProPublica: Secret IRS Files Reveal How Much the Ultrawealthy Gained by Shaping Trump’s “Big, Beautiful Tax Cut,” August 11

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