Data Vis Dispatch, August 3

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

Welcome back to the seventh 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 for this week include vaccine hesitancy, cities and infrastructure, and the Olympics.

The Olympics are still in full swing! Although the competition is fierce, there’s no one right way to count who’s in the lead — especially if you’re willing to get creative:

Axios: Olympics medal tracker, July 27
The New York Times: Tokyo Olympics: Who Leads the Medal Count?, July 27
The Times: Team GB leads the field at just missing out on a medal, July 30

More Olympic records are sure to be broken (though a few are likely to stand the test of time):

El Confidencial: De Long a Warholm, más de un siglo de récords. ¿Cuántos se batirán en Tokio?, July 29
El País: Los récords de atletismo más cerca de batirse en Tokio, July 30
The Washington Post: Olympians are probably older — and younger — than you think, July 31

These charts helped us slow down the 100-meter dash:

The New York Times: How the World’s Fastest Men Battled for Gold in 10 Seconds, August 1
El País: Los 100m lisos, en busca de acabar con el reinado de los récords eternos, July 31

And these charted personal triumphs and national hopes:

The New York Times: The Moves That Gave Sunisa Lee Olympic Gold, July 29
The Washington Post: Katie Ledecky’s historic week, day by day, July 30
Folha de S.Paulo: Após Rio-2016, Brasil tem trunfo para boa campanha em Tóquio-2020, July 29

Although athletes have mostly been spared, COVID is still spreading at the Games and around the world:

Bloomberg: Olympic Bubble Shields Athletes From Tokyo’s Rising Covid Cases, August 2

Vaccinations are highly effective (and everyone is covering it):

Axios: Less than 0.1% of vaccinated Americans tested positive for COVID-19, July 31
New York Post: “INSANITY!,” July 30 (Tweet)
Bloomberg: A $27 Billion Vaccine Is Not Pharma’s New Normal, July 27

…but the shots only work if people are willing to get them:

The Economist: Which Americans are against the jab?, July 30
The New York Times: Who Are the Unvaccinated in America? There’s No One Answer, July 31
The New York Times: How Europe, After a Fumbling Start, Overtook the U.S. in Vaccination, July 29
Bloomberg: New Vaccinations Are Rebounding in the U.S.’s Covid Hot Spots, July 28

The pandemic changed how we spent our time:

Nathan Yau: How Much the Everyday Changes When You Are in a Pandemic, August 3
San Francisco Chronicle: Traffic congestion is making a comeback in the Bay Area, but in a strange new way, August 1

Though as relief measures end, there will be more shocks to come:

The Washington Post: A tsunami of deferred debt is about to hit homeowners no longer protected by a foreclosure moratorium, August 1
The Washington Post: Evictions are about to restart as tenants wait on billions in unspent rental aid, July 30
Pew Research Center: As national eviction ban expires, a look at who rents and who owns in the U.S., August 2

Political charts this week offered us the big picture — constitutional crisis in Tunisia, polarization in Switzerland, and the value of a vote in Germany:

Inkyfada: Suivez l’évolution de la position des député·es concernant la décision de Kaïs Saied, July 30
Neue Zürcher Zeitung: In der Pandemie ist der Stadt-Land-Graben so gross wie in den letzten 40 Jahren nicht, July 30
CORRECTIV: Warum soll ich wählen gehen?, July 31

But we also got the political nitty-gritty, with charts on the US infrastructure bill, Indian-Americans in politics, and one Indian-American in particular:

The New York Times: The Infrastructure Plan: What’s In and What’s Out, July 28
Los Angeles Times: The rise of the Indian American candidate, July 27
Los Angeles Times: What does America think of Kamala Harris?, August 2

But no week goes by without charts on the climate crisis:

The Washington Post: Beyond human endurance, July 28
Financial Times: Planetary ‘vital signs’ show extent of climate stress — and some hope, July 31

And the floods and fires that come with it:

NPR: Who Will Pay To Protect Tech Giants From Rising Seas?, July 27
Reuters: “Over the last 6 days, wildfires have ravaged coastal towns in Turkey, fanned by temperatures above 40°C/104°F, strong winds and low humidity. Data from @CopernicusEMS show there have been three times as many fires as is usual for the region during this time of year.”, August 3 (Tweet)
NBC: Watch July’s wildfire smoke travel across the country, July 29

In particular, this week marked Earth Overshoot Day for 2021 — meaning that as of last Thursday, we’ve been living off resources borrowed from the future:

Les Echos: L’humanité vit toujours plus « à crédit » sur la planète, July 29
Szabad Európa: Feléltük a Föld éves erőforrásait, July 29

What else we found interesting

Matt Henderson: Visualizing prime factors, July 31
El Confidencial: La ciencia explica cómo Simone Biles hace lo que hace, August 2
The New York Times: How Speed and Distance Dictate How Olympians Run, July 30
The Washington Post: Fighting Fire With Fire, July 29

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.