In most offices, you bump into someone and they ask, “How are you?” or “What’s happening?”
At The Washington Post, they ask “What do you know?”
Editor: I thought you were sarcastic about the cookies.
Journalist: I am never sarcastic when it comes to cookies.
For the winter Olympics, graphics team members Darla Cameron, Gene Thorp and Cristina Rivero wanted to look at the elevation and latitude of host cities. Here’s the graphic we ended up with:
And here are the visual steps we took to get there.
1. We started with a data set showing the altitude range from the host cities to the highest skiing venue, and tried a look with small multiples:
2. Cristina made this into a scatter plot for simpler comparisons:
3. We also wanted to show each venue’s relative location on the globe. The Winter Olympics have only been hosted in the northern hemisphere:
4. But we still wanted to incorporate latitude and altitude more closely together. The mountain shapes evolved into peaks:
5. And Gene had the idea to show everything on the same cutaway plane, which led to our final graphic shape.
Darla converted the illustration into an SVG and used D3 to make the graphic interactive. Check out the final graphic here.
Curious about graphic design and data visualization? We do these kind of Behind the Scenes looks all the time!
Two years ago, the Federal Bureau of Investigation announced that it was changing the definition of rape that had been in place since 1927. It took effect for last year’s violent crime count, and, under that new definition, rapes were up in most cities.
Violent crime in general dropped about 5.4 percent between the first half of 2012 and the first half of 2013, according to the FBI’s semiannual Uniform Crime Report. Rapes, however, increased. There were 14,400 rapes reported from January to June last year, up from 13,242 in the first half of 2012.
But it’s unclear how that compares to the year before. Under the old definition, the number of rapes declined 10.6 percent between 2012 and 2013. The rise in number instead reflects the new, more-accurate definition of the crime. The number of instances of rape rose in 138 cities and fell in 119, according to comparisons where data for both years were available. The FBI data captures just a fraction of the nation — only 272 cities, a group home to just over a fourth of the national population.