Data Vis Dispatch,
February 1

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

Welcome back to the 31st 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 democratic institutions, conflict in and over Ukraine, and the intersection of climate and agriculture.

Once again, Ukraine was the topic on everyone’s mind. Several maps showed the positions of Russian and NATO troops near its borders:

Neue Zürcher Zeitung: Krise um die Ukraine: Russland sendet USA Antwortschreiben, Familienangehörige von US-Diplomaten sollen Weissrussland verlassen, January 27
Bloomberg: Where Military Forces Are Assembling Around Russia and Ukraine, January 28
USA Today: How US and its allies could respond to Russian invasion of Ukraine, January 26

Others clarified the history of the conflict:

Reuters: On the edge of war, January 26
El Confidencial: Cinco mapas para entender el tablero ucraniano mientras Rusia mueve sus fichas, January 29
FiveThirtyEight: War With Russia Has Pushed Ukrainians Toward The West, January 28

And still others examined the economic stakes of war:

De Tijd: Europese gasvoorraden nog nooit zo vroeg halfleeg, January 29
El Confidencial: El granero de Europa, en llamas: el riesgo global de una invasión de Ucrania, January 26

The release of the 2021 Corruption Perceptions Index didn’t make for flattering news in much of the world:

The Economist: Corruption is getting worse in many poor countries, January 25
Átlátszó: Magyarország az EU második legkorruptabb országa, egyre lejjebb csúszunk a Transparency International rangsorán, January 27

And U.S. political charts also took on fundamental issues — fair elections and the federal court system:

FiveThirtyEight: New York’s Proposed Congressional Map Is Heavily Biased Toward Democrats. Will It Pass?, January 31
The Washington Post: Black and Latino voters have been shortchanged in redistricting, advocates and some judges say, January 25
FiveThirtyEight: What Biden’s Appointees Can Tell Us About His Supreme Court Nominee, February 1
The Washington Post: Biden, who pledged to diversify the Supreme Court, has already made progress on lower courts, January 27
Bloomberg: Biden’s Supreme Court Nominee Could Serve for Decades With a Conservative Majority, January 28

Economic topics this week were as abstract as cryptocurrency and as concrete as the price of food:

The New York Times: It’s Hard to Tell When the Crypto Bubble Will Burst, or If There Is One, January 27
Bloomberg: As the Fed Hikes, China’s Central Bank Seizes the Moment for Stimulus, January 27
The Wall Street Journal: Move Over, Meme Stocks: Retail Investors Go Back to the Blue Chips, January 30
Le Monde: “L’Europe et le choc de l’inflation Energie, logement, alimentation… Les prix ont augmenté de 5 % en décembre 2021 dans la zone euro. Les plus touchés sont les ménages les moins riches et les petites entreprises,” January 28 (Tweet, Article)

The environmental spotlight fell on food and clothing — but don’t forget massive methane leaks as well:

National Geographic: What climate change means for the future of coffee and other popular foods, January 26
The Economist: If everyone were vegan, only a quarter of current farmland would be needed, January 28
Le Monde: Coton bio, « made in France » et vêtements recyclés… L’utopie de la mode durable, January 30
Financial Times: Global warming effect of methane from US Permian draws fresh scrutiny, January 28

With the Australian Open just finished and the Winter Olympics about to start, it was a great week for sports — and don’t miss the Folha de S.Paulo’s chart of Brazil’s incredibly hardworking football teams:

South China Morning Post: Olympic Winter Games Beijing 2022, January 27
El País: Los 21 Grand Slam de Rafa Nadal: 17 años de rivalidad contra Federer y Djokovic, January 30
The Economist: In tennis, the elite capture the glory—and most of the money, January 28
Folha de S.Paulo: Times brasileiros jogam 20 partidas a mais por ano que europeus, January 30

Of course, we haven’t forgotten the pandemic. A lagging vaccine campaign has changed the geography of deaths in the U.S.:

The Wall Street Journal: One Million Deaths: The Hole the Pandemic Made in U.S. Society, January 31
Financial Times: ‘Pandemic of the unboosted’: low US Covid jab uptake piles pressure on hospitals, January 31
The Washington Post: Visualizing the omicron wave striking and rolling across the country, January 28

But with such a fast-moving variant, tracking the real numbers can get tricky:

El Mundo: La tormenta perfecta de los contagios Ómicron, terceras dosis y pasaporte Covid: claves para entender el pico de contagios, January 25
Folha de S.Paulo: Cidade de SP registra 700 mil casos de Covid a mais do que o estado aponta para capital, January 28

Miscellaneous charts this week can only be split into two groups — first the fun ones, then the grim ones:

The Economist: What Spotify data show about the decline of English, January 29
FiveThirtyEight: Groundhogs Do Not Make Good Meteorologists, February 1
The Washington Post: They were sentenced to life in prison. Who should decide if they get a second chance?, January 28
The Economist: Archivists are racing to identify every Jewish Holocaust victim, January 25

What else we found interesting

Reuters: Gender and language, January 25
The New York Times: Can You Gerrymander Your Party to Power?, January 27
The Washington Post: Confused about rapid tests? Here’s what to know, January 27
Átlátszó: Nevek és terek – Budapest utcanevei, January 26
Reuters: The race to reconnect Tonga, January 28

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.