Data Vis Dispatch, February 20

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

Welcome back to the 130th 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 basketball, elections, and real estate.

The #DuBoisChallenge2024 is a tribute to W.E.B. Du Bois, who changed the way that African Americans were viewed through a series of impactful data visualizations. Here is a recreation of one of his charts:

Tom Février: Esclaves et noirs libres, February 13

After more than 130 days of war in the Gaza Strip, we found visualizations of the killed, missing, and displaced; the increasing threat to the city of Rafah; and Egypt’s efforts to build a buffer zone on its border:

Zeit Online: Die Töchter tot, das Zuhause dem Erdboden gleich, February 14
The Guardian: How Gaza’s ‘safe’ city Rafah came to be on the precipice of catastrophe – visualised, February 16
The Wall Street Journal: Egypt Builds Walled Enclosure on Border as Israeli Offensive Looms, February 15

With the death of Alexei Navalny in an Arctic penal colony, Putin’s way of governing came into focus this week:

Gazeta Wyborcza: Ofiary epoki Putina. Kilkanaście znanych i tysiące bezimiennych osób, February 16

Remember the first Dispatch of 2024 talking about a global year of elections? Here we have national elections in Indonesia and regional ones in Galicia:

Reuters: Indonesia’s Prabowo claims victory after presidential election rout, February 15 Los resultados de las elecciones del 18F en Galicia, municipio a municipio, February 18 El sistema electoral gallego: una ley para la horma del PP que eleva el peso de las provincias que votan más conservador, February 16

Other political visualizations covered the social media behavior of Argentina’s president, democracies at risk, and U.S. and Chinese activities off the coast of Taiwan:

La Nación: Desvelos, arrebatos y castigos. Así funciona el Twitter de Milei, la ametralladora del nuevo relato oficial, February 17
The Economist: Where democracy is most at risk, February 14
The Wall Street Journal: Aboard a U.S. Aircraft Carrier, a Front-Row Seat to China Tensions, February 19

We still can’t stop creating clusters of small multiples:

The New York Times: The East Coast Is Sinking, February 13
Folha de S.Paulo: Entenda por que não só de matriz energética suja é feito um país poluidor, February 18

But with all our love for the small multiple line chart, let’s not forget its older sibling, the simple but effective line chart:

Bloomberg: Japan’s Nikkei Index Is Within a Whisker of its 1989 Peak, February 16
Works in Progress: Compensating compassion, February 16 (Full Issue 14)
The Atlantic: Why Americans Suddenly Stopped Hanging Out, February 14

Line charts can even be used in an experimental way to decode a national anthem:

The Pudding: National Anthem, February 13

Two data visualizations featured real estate loans and transactions:

Bloomberg: Dozens of Banks Rapidly Piled Up Commercial Property Loans, February 15
Bloomberg: The Bangladeshi Politician and His £200 Million UK Property Empire, February 18

This week was all about sports, especially the rise of Caitlin Clark as the face of women’s basketball:

The Washington Post: Caitlin Clark’s relentless climb into the record books, February 16
USA Today: Play H-O-R-S-E against Iowa’s Caitlin Clark? You better check these shot charts first, February 15
Mundo Deportivo: Un combate para la historia, February 16
Krisztina Szűcs: “I have one long post with the swimming results from the past 3 days. Don’t worry, I’ll stop posting these gifs tomorrow (but they will be back for the Olympics!),” February 18 (Tweet)

Finally, a shoutout to the Washington Post for two beautiful visualizations of Americans’ class perceptions and NASA’s Mars rover tracking:

The Washington Post: How Americans define a middle-class lifestyle — and why they can’t reach it, February 15
The Washington Post: Follow Perseverance’s path on Mars as it hunts for signs of ancient life, February 16

What else we found interesting

The Washington Post: Can you tell which of these break-up texts are AI-generated? Take our quiz, February 13
Diario Sur: Teatro Romano, Alcazaba y Castillo de Gibralfaro: el conjunto monumental de la ciudad de Málaga, February 18

Applications are open for…

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!