Data Vis Dispatch,
October 26

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

Welcome back to the 19th 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 the COP26 climate conference, U.S. politics, and sea travel.

In a few days, the U.N. climate change conference, COP26, is set to begin in Glasgow. One key agenda item is limiting methane emissions — and the problem starts very close to home:

The Washington Post: Russia allows methane leaks at planet’s peril, October 19
Bloomberg: Turkmenistan’s Dirty Secret, October 19
Financial Times: Methane leak near COP26 venue underscores emissions challenge, October 23

We’ve now had 30 years of international climate conferences. These charts looked back at what’s been achieved and what still needs to be done:

The New York Times: Yes, There Has Been Progress on Climate. No, It’s Not Nearly Enough, October 25
Bloomberg: How to Stop 30 Years of Failing to Cut Emissions, October 21
Quartz: The only country pulling its weight on climate change is The Gambia, October 22
Quarks: Ist das noch Wetter oder schon Klimawandel?, October 19

And even as the world tries to limit carbon emissions, some industries are still digging themselves in deeper:

Bloomberg: The Chinese Companies Polluting the World More Than Entire Nations, October 24
Bloomberg: The World Is Nowhere Near to Kicking Its Dirtiest Habit, October 20
CNN: West Virginia’s reliance on coal is getting more expensive, and Joe Manchin’s constituents are footing the bill, October 21

Speaking of West Virginia… The U.S. Senate is still struggling to pass its budget bill. Major programs are almost certain to be cut and reduced:

The New York Times: The Democrats Have a Lot of Cutting to Do, October 20
The New York Times: The World ‘Has Found a Way to Do This’: The U.S. Lags on Paid Leave, October 25

And there were charts on the White House and the Supreme Court as well:

FiveThirtyEight: Biden Has Lost Support Across All Groups Of Americans — But Especially Independents And Hispanics, October 21
Los Angeles Times: What’s on Kamala Harris’ calendar?, October 25
FiveThirtyEight: The Supreme Court’s Conservative Revolution Is Already Happening, October 20

In elections, we saw Republicans losing trust in democracy, final results of the California recall, a demographic breakdown of voting behavior in Berlin — and a historical look at the alternative:

The Economist: Republicans’ trust in democracy has plunged since 2016, October 19
The San Francisco Chronicle: The final Newsom recall results are in at last. They show California is getting even more polarized, October 20
Tagesspiegel: Berlins politische Landschaften: So unterschiedlich wählen arme, alte und religiöse Kieze, October 19
The Economist: As Sudan’s government wobbles, coups are making a comeback, October 25

There are three topics you can always count on in a Data Vis Dispatch; we’ve covered climate and politics, which means it’s time for COVID. Everyone is trying predict how the second pandemic winter will compare to the first:

The New York Times: What Previous Covid-19 Waves Tell Us About the Virus Now, October 23
Financial Times: From Baltic to Balkans, Covid crisis engulfs central and eastern Europe, October 22
Financial Times: Covid calculus shifts as NHS faces ‘extremely challenging’ winter, October 21

There’s no end in sight for the pandemic’s social and economic disruptions:

NBC News: School enrollment plummeted in 2020, data shows, October 21
The Economist: What’s plaguing the American economy? According to the Fed, it’s shortages, October 20

But the good news, as always, remains — vaccines work, more people are getting them every day, and good policy choices can make it happen faster:

New Statesman: How Covid-19 vaccines have dramatically reduced deaths, October 21
Duc-Quang Nguyen: “L’estimation du temps nécessaire pour atteindre les objectifs vaccinaux du CF (et espérer une levée des mesures sanitaires),” October 20 (Tweet)
The Economist: The impact of vaccine mandates is modest, but potentially crucial, October 23

This week brought data on race and segregation:

Bloomberg: Is Your Company Diverse? See How Top Employers Stack Up, October 21
The Washington Post: To stop a scrapyard, some protesters in a Latino community risked everything, October 22
The Tributary: Explore Florida’s diversity — and segregation — with The Tributary’s newest tool, October 21

As well as charts of everything from television genres to border arrests to endangered bumblebees:

Jon Ollington: “In 2009-10 the median goal kick length in #laliga was 58 metres. Pep’s team were 20 metres shorter than 2nd place Real Madrid and almost half the league average. Today, the median goal kick length across Europe is around 40 metres. Playing out from the back is a new phenomenon,” October 19 (Tweet)
FlowingData: Television Genres Over Time, October 26
The Economist: America is the big winner of China’s crypto crackdown, October 22
The Washington Post: Border arrests have soared to all-time high, new CBP data shows, October 20
The San Francisco Chronicle: Bay Area Transportation Project Road Map, October 20
The Wall Street Journal: The Bumblebee’s Plight: Why It Is Disappearing in the U.S., October 23

An unexpected theme of the week was ships and the sea — past and present:

El País: Los vikingos ya estaban en América hace ahora justo 1.000 años, October 20
CNN: Visualizing California’s stunning shipping gridlock, October 23
Le Monde: Au large de la Libye, les pêcheurs italiens pris dans les filets de la lutte contre les migrants, October 22

And actually, we covered the other elements — fire, air, and earth — as well:

The New York Times: See How the Dixie Fire Created Its Own Weather, October 20
Reuters: The skies over the South China Sea, October 19
John Saeki/Agence France-Presse: “China hounds Taiwan with “greyzone” war plane incursions,” October 22 (Tweet)
NBC News: Where America’s pumpkins come from, October 22

What else we found interesting

Dezeen: Mathieu Lehanneur designs 3D-printed sculptures based on population statistics, October 19
Nightingale: Data and Technique: Reflections on Visualizing by Hand, October 20
Kontinentalist: Deepavali Sweet Surprise, October 20
Financial Times: Immigration: a journey in music and numbers, October 21

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.