Data Vis Dispatch,
September 21

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

Welcome back to the 14th 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 earthquakes and volcano eruption on La Palma, wildfires in the U.S., the elections in Canada and Germany — and, yes, COVID-19.

First, the earthquakes and then volcanic eruption on the Spanish Canary Island of La Palma. Thousands of people had to evacuate, and Spanish newspapers reported on the event with lots of maps:

El País: Canarias vuelve a temblar por una posible erupción volcánica, September 16
El Confidencial: La Cumbre Vieja de La Palma entra en erupción: 10.000 personas serán evacuadas, September 19
El Confidencial: Gases tóxicos y nuevos sismos: los riesgos del volcán de La Palma tras la erupción, September 20
El País: Volcán de La Palma: por dónde se espera que avancen las lenguas de lava hacia el mar, September 20

Environmental disasters are happening all over the world. In the U.S., the wildfires continue, killing (or about to kill) some of the oldest trees in the world:

The Washington Post: Anatomy of a wildfire: How the Dixie Fire became the largest blaze of a devastating summer, September 14
NPR: A Single Fire Killed Thousands Of Sequoias. Scientists Are Racing To Save The Rest, September 17
The Wall Street Journal: How Foil Blankets Are Used to Save the World’s Largest Trees, September 18
The San Francisco Chronicle: These maps show where prescribed burns helped curb the Caldor Fire’s rapid growth, September 16
Financial Times: Russian wildfires send black carbon plumes across North Pole, September 17

As we can see, global warming is still happening…

Bayrischer Rundfunk: In der Hitze der Stadt, September 20
Greg Fiske: “Let the depth of this map sink in,” September 17 (Tweet)

…and governments and the energy industry need to reshape and adapt. ZEIT Online offers a calculator for carbon prices, while Bloomberg does the math on how much money there is in clean energy:

ZEIT Online: CO₂-Rechner: So wird sich der CO₂-Preis auswirken, September 20
Bloomberg: There’s a Fortune to Be Made in the Obscure Metals Behind Clean Power, September 21

But humans are destroying nature not just indirectly via global warming, but also directly with new roads and deforestation:

Politico: How Joe Biden’s Green Agenda Threatens the Alaskan Wilderness, September 17
InfoAmazonia: O desmatamento da maior área contínua de floresta da Amazônia, September 17

The new COVID-19 wave in the U.S. has led to even more deaths and an even higher ICU occupancy:

The Washington Post: The pandemic marks another grim milestone: 1 in 500 Americans have died of covid-19, September 15
The New York Times: Covid Hospitalizations Hit Crisis Levels in Southern I.C.U.s, September 14

Vaccines still work, though. (Including booster shots.) Lots of the sorrow could have been prevented by more people getting a COVID-19 vaccine, as the New York Times shows:

The New York Times: The Lives Lost to Undervaccination, in Charts, September 14
The Economist: Despite Delta, severe covid-19 is much rarer among vaccinated Britons, September 18
Folha de S.Paulo: Aumento de vacinados entre internados por Covid não significa falha da imunização, September 15
Financial Times: Why are Covid vaccine boosters needed and who in the UK will receive them?, September 14

But while vaccination rates go down, society debates: Who should be required to get vaccinated?

Bloomberg: U.S. Covid Vaccinations Slide Again Ahead of Biden Mandates, September 15
Reuters: U.S. state vaccine mandates in schools, September 15
The Economist: Polls show broad public support for Joe Biden’s vaccine mandate, September 16

In the past week, news organizations also visualized different ways that the pandemic affects society and the economy:

Bloomberg: Broadway’s Back as New York Pins Covid Comeback Hopes on Culture, September 14
Bloomberg: Delta’s Force Hits Economies From U.S. to China in Real-Time, September 14
The Wall Street Journal: Covid-19 Pandemic Aid Kept Millions of Americans Out of Poverty in 2020, September 15
NBC News: New government reports paint child care system as ‘unworkable,’ September 16

In other news: Lots of elections are happening at the moment. Canada voted yesterday, Germany next Sunday:

Bloomberg: Canadian Election Live Results, September 20
New Statesman: Canadian election 2021: Will Justin Trudeau’s Liberals be defeated?, September 15
Neue Zürcher Zeitung: Freiheit wird für die Parteien immer unwichtiger, September 20
The Los Angeles Times: How did your neighborhood vote in the California recall election?, September 16
The Washington Post: Map proposals show how parties hope to gain from new congressional boundaries, September 17
The Washington Post: Why Texas’s laws are moving right while its population shifts left, September 20
Le Monde: Des européennes de 2019 à la primaire pour 2022, les chiffres de la dynamique écologiste, September 16

This election in Germany will be special, with Angela Merkel stepping down as chancellor after 16 years. How did Germany change in the meantime? Some news organizations tried to find out:

Berliner Morgenpost: Angela Merkel in Zahlen, September 16
Reuters: Marking Merkel, September 14
Financial Times: The Merkel era in charts: what changed in Germany?, September 20
Les Echos: Le vrai bilan d’Angela Merkel en 10 graphiques, September 20 (Tweet)

Lots was visualized besides the mentioned topics. Here’s a colorful mix of electricity usage, sports, mobile usage, the size of the moon, and how close countries are to each other when it comes to what they value:

Anders Sundell: “In which countries do people find the same things in life important? Network graph where each country is connected to the three others with the most similar answers in the World Values Survey,” September 16 (Tweet)
El País: Cómo afecta en mi factura de la luz la subida del precio del megavatio hora, September 19
FlowingData: Where Americans Live, September 14
Le Monde: A Paris, aux heures de pointe, les vélos sont plus nombreux que les voitures sur certains axes, September 19
Chartball: “NFL @Broncos at @Jaguars, Sunday, September 19, 2021,” September 20 (Tweet)
Visual Capitalist: The World’s Most Used Apps, by Downstream Traffic, September 20
Arnold Platon: “The languages used in @EU_Commission President’s 2021 State of the European Union speeches #SOTEU in context,” September 15 (Tweet)
The Washington Post: Satellite imagery shows the scale of the traffic congestion at the ports of Los Angeles, September 17
The Philadelphia Inquirer: Intersections of Justice, September 16
Agence France-Presse: “Ebola virus in survivors can trigger outbreaks years after infection. #AFPgraphics chart to explain why scientists believe a latent Ebola virus in a symptom-free survivor of an earlier outbreak may have become reactivated,” September 16 (Tweet)
USA Today: The harvest moon: A visual guide to full moons, September 18
The Press and Journal: Stuck in Rent: Highland residents fear second homes are destroying communities, September 16
Bloomberg: A Tesla Co-Founder Aims To Build an Entire U.S. Battery Industry, September 14

What else we found interesting

The New York Times: Why the Empire State Building, and New York, May Never Be the Same, September 15
Reuters: The Making of Angela Merkel, September 15
Scientific American: Infinity Category Theory Offers a Bird’s-Eye View of Mathematics, September 15
Nightingale: THE KIDS’ TABLE: Draw Along Dataviz, September 16
National Geographic: Solar System in Action, September 16
  • Information is Beautiful will publish a new book in January 2022: Beautiful News. Each day for a full year, they visualized data that showed positive news about the world, and the book will feature these visualizations. Find them on Instagram.
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