The Best Combination of a Map and a Chart

I love maps and I love charts. So I was particularly excited to find this great chart of the world’s population by latitude, which obviously resembles a map (because most people live on land):

europe_smlThis is a much more eloquent way of combining latitude and longitude population charts, as I’ve previously posted about here.

At the bottom of the post, the creator links to, where Ryan Brideau posted some R scripts that take publicly available data and create similar population map charts. Ryan does a great job describing why the chart is so interesting:

“What I love about it is that, in the absence of any traditional map features, the outlines of countries and continents are immediately apparent. And as long as you are familiar with what the land masses of the globe look like, you know exactly what the plot is without even needing to be told. Another interesting feature is that the peaks also give information about both the population and and the density: the area under the graph represents the total population, while the higher the peak, the more dense it is. (Hence the huge peak of Tokyo, and the low, wide peak of Mexico City.)”

Having only a little experience with R, I thought this was a good opportunity to see if I could use Ryan’s scripts to make something similar for the Boston area.

After a bit of tinkering, here’s what I came up with for Massachusetts:


And here’s greater Boston:



Not bad. Thanks Ryan.

From Out of Nowhere

Via Barrons via The Big Picture, interesting trends in the computing space:

I find it a little bit funny that the graphic says, “from out of nowhere, smartphones have passed global PC sales.” The slope of both smartphone graphs shifted sharply upward the month the first iPhone was released and haven’t changed since. I’d say the passing was rather predictable at any point after the iPhone came out until it happened. Even if PC sales had maintained their trend growth, that only would have delayed the inevitable by a few months.

My Favorite Economic Dashboard

An update of one of the simplest and most useful economic dashboards I’ve seen. You need to click through, but take a quick look:


I would still love to see a dynamic version of this, updated daily. It’s not quite as relevant as it could be when it’s released June 22nd with data as of May 31st. Nonetheless, I like it.