US Gun Deaths – Periscopic

Screenshot from

I think this is my favorite visualization (not because of the topic) but because they have managed to nail down a very specific and powerful narrative: not how many people died, but how many years were not lived. It’s a great example of something that I call “negative space” exploration in a dataset – unpack the storyline so much that in the end you only have one variable (usually a unit of something). The interaction and interface design then help this one variable’s story shine.



Presentation of FiveThirtyEight’s poll tracker

Screenshot of FiveThirtyEight’s presentation of their 2018 generic poll aggregator.

This visualization, “Are Democrats/Republicans Winning the Race for Congress?”, shows FiveThirtyEight’s aggregation of generic ballot polls – ie, polls that ask citizens whether they plan to vote for Democrats or Republicans in November. I think their audience is relatively well-educated people with an interest in politics but who don’t work in politics or follow it intensely.  I also think their audience is younger – 20 and 30-somethings – since their content is wells suited to social media. I also think that they tend to live on the coasts/in major metro areas and are left-leaning. The goals of this presentation are to show the change over time in the estimate for the 2018 midterm Congressional election, and also to show the uncertainty inherent in doing polls and poll aggregation. I think that this presentation is effective. The designers used visual hierarchy well so that the first thing users notice is the trendline of the poll aggregation. Leaving the rest of the chart blank until election also underscores the fact that this is the best prediction for election day based on current conditions, and it is likely to change as it has in the past. Showing the 90% confidence interval and highlighting the overlap between the Democratic and Republican confidence intervals in purple helps the audience to understand the imprecision of polls in a way that simply annotating these figures does not. Further, plotting the results of each individual poll allows the audience to quickly identify outliers – this could be very useful to fact-check news outlets that dramatically report outliers without putting them in context. It would be helpful if users could click on an individual poll to see the name and/or see it highlighted in the table underneath, so that you could investigate what’s happening with the outliers or other polls.

Police Violence in Brazil

The scenario of violence in Brazil is alarming. In 2016, 61,600 people died victims of homicide in Brazil. This number is comparable in magnitude to the victims of an atomic bomb. Inside a scenario of high violence, it’s necessary to understand how the different types of violence occur. Between 2009 and 2016, almost 22 thousand people died in Brazil due to police action—more than 4,200 only in 2016. The victims were 99% man, 81,8% of them between 12 and 29 years old, and 76,2% of them black. In a report, published in 2015, Amnesty International affirmed that the Brazilian rates of police-led killings are the highest in the world.

The data presented is about police killings and police killed in Brazil in a simplified way to make presentations for different audiences that are not specialists in the theme and also to publicize on the internet and draw attention to the theme in social networks. To publicize on the Internet and draw attention to the issue in social networks. The source of the data in the compilation made by the Brazilian Forum for Public Safety based on the official criminal reports.

With this presentation, the authors intend to show the magnitude of the problem to a more prominent audience on the social media. This discussion usually is made using charts and different statistics and become too complicated for a big part of the population. It’s urgent in Brazil that the people understand that the police is violent and discuss the idea that violent must to be tackle with violence.

This infographic is much better than the uses that other forms of publicizing the data, but still confusing. It would be interesting to use different pallets of colors and other visual effects to show the statistics to become even more effective.


Sofia Reinach

“Only 9% of America Chose Trump and Clinton as the Nominees”

This short story from the New York Times is one of my absolute favorites, the data are simple: it’s just US population data, and voter turnout.

The goal here is simple: give an understanding of who votes in primaries in the US electoral system. Narrowly, the audience are readers of the New York Times, but the more implicit target is really those interested in the then-ongoing primaries.

I think the simplicity of the setup makes this incredibly effective: it builds a complex picture of the American electorate in 6 simple steps. By building it layer by layer, it breaks down a complex topic into very simple terms.