Data Vis Dispatch, July 27

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

Welcome back to the sixth 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 wildfire, floods, coronavirus, and… the Olympics!

Let’s start with the fun ones — the Olympics are here and the charts are flowing:

FiveThirtyEight: Which Countries Are Doing Better — Or Worse — Than Expected At The Tokyo Olympics?, July 26
Bloomberg: Tokyo Summer Olympics Medal Count, July 21

We got to look back at the history of the games:

FiveThirtyEight: Every Olympic ‘Sport,’ In One Chart, July 22
Le Monde: Jeux olympiques de Tokyo : visualisez les sports apparus, disparus, féminisés… depuis cent vingt-cinq ans, July 23
El País: De Tokio 1964 a Tokio 2020: récords pulverizados y el doble de atletas y disciplinas, July 22

And take a deep dive (pun very much intended) into the world of swimming:

The New York Times: Australia Dominates Again in the Women’s 4×100 Freestyle Relay, July 25
The Washington Post: How Katie Ledecky swims faster than the rest of the world, July 21
The New York Times: “@adam_peaty won the men’s 100-meter breaststroke, giving him back-to-back Olympic golds in the event. Peaty has swum the fastest 16 times in history,” July 25 (Tweet)
Krisztina Szűcs: “I had a lot of fun creating this visualization for swimming results. The version before this one had even more moving elements but I needed to remove some to be able to save smaller gifs. I’m still spamming @plotparade with other #olympics related visualizations,” July 25 (Tweet)

But the pandemic doesn’t stop for sports:

The New York Times: Olympics Updates: U.S. Collects 10 Medals, Second to China, July 27
The Financial Times: Why are Covid cases falling in the UK?, July 26

The virus is spreading, even as vaccination campaigns continue:

Quartz: These are the countries where the delta variant of Covid-19 is now dominant, July 23
Stat: A new way to visualize the surge in Covid-19 cases in the U.S., July 26
The Financial Times: Why are fully vaccinated people testing positive for Covid?, July 23
Le Monde: “Covid-19 : la France divisée autour de la vaccination. @lemondefr fait sa Une sur la triple fracture vaccinale qui traverse le pays. Des cartes à retrouver dans l’édition en kiosque ce week-end,” July 24 (Tweet)

And we’re learning more about how COVID has changed our daily lives:

The Wall Street Journal: Covid-19 Forced More Americans to Juggle Working From Home and Child Care, July 22
The New York Times: More phone calls, less shopping: how the pandemic changed American lives, down to the minute, July 22

After last week’s deluge in Western Europe, this week saw more deadly flooding in Henan, China:

South China Morning Post: China’s Henan province inundated by catastrophic floods, July 26
Bloomberg: Heat, Floods, Fires: Jet Stream Is Key Link in Climate Disasters, July 22
The Washington Post: On one street in Germany’s floods: Terror, survival, tragedy and the house that floated away, July 23
Neue Zürcher Zeitung: Ist der Klimawandel schuld an der Flutkatastrophe?, July 22

And the other side of the climate coin — extreme heat:

Süddeutsche Zeitung: Wie das Wetter zur Klimakrise wird, July 26
The New York Times: America in 2090: The Impact of Extreme Heat, in Maps, July 21
The New Statesman: In many cities, it is becoming too hot to work, July 22
Dominic Royé: “Climatic contrasts in Europe,” July 21 (Tweet)
Neue Zürcher Zeitung: Das ewige Eis der Arktis schrumpft rasant. Schuld hat auch der Schnee, July 27

And the drought and wildfire that comes with it:

The New York Times: See How Wildfire Smoke Spread Across America, July 21
CNN: Bootleg Fire is burning up carbon offsets, July 22
The Why Axis: The air is toxic, July 22
USA Today: Heat dome brings record-breaking high temperatures to the West, exacerbating drought and wildfires, July 20
The Economist: The countries of the Middle East and north Africa are parched, July 24
The Financial Times: What growing avocados in Sicily tells us about climate change and the future of food, July 25

In the midst of it all, Joe Biden’s approval rating holds steady — and that’s not even counting his supporters in Quebec:

FiveThirtyEight: Why Biden’s Approval Rating Has Barely Budged In His First 6 Months, July 22
Pew: As border remains closed, Canadians are critical of U.S. pandemic response but still view their neighbor favorably, July 22

This week offered some interesting political correlations, mixing up income, lockdown timelines, vaccine hesitancy, votes, and neighborhood geography:

Politico: When it comes to reopening, income matters more than party, July 21
Financial Times: ‘A form of brainwashing’: why Trump voters are refusing to have a vaccine, July 21
Bloomberg: Adams Won By Betting on a New York Divided By Race and Income, July 21

Finally, this week’s health and well-being charts can be split three ways. There’s good news, there’s bad news, and there’s… news:

The Economist: Americans say their individual well-being improved in 2020, July 21

What else we found interesting

Quartz: Japan’s 72 seasons can liberate us from our obsession with productivity, July 26
El Universal: Medallistas mexicanos, July 20
The New York Times: Sunisa Lee, the Gymnast, July 21
The Washington Post: Future of the Summer Games: Skateboarding, July 21
Carl Churchill: Cold Chihuahua: Lifestyles and landscapes at risk in North America’s largest desert, July 22 (Tweet)

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.