A Data Visualization Newsletter

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Our Favorite Stuff

Week 169 heat

In the 1930s, the federal government created maps of hundreds of cities, rating real estate in different neighborhoods by the “riskiness” of investing there. Black neighborhoods were typically rated as hazardous, the lowest grade, ensuring that fewer resources flowed to those areas and that fewer residents were lent money to buy their homes. The repercussions of this practice are still being felt today; new research suggests that many of these “redlined” neighborhoods have fewer trees and more heat-absorbing concrete, making them 5 to 20 degrees Fahrenheit hotter in the summer than wealthier, whiter parts of the same city.

Week 169 electoral

Heading into the 2020 election, FiveThirtyEight took a look at how 16 battleground states have been voting over the last five cycles. Some, like Iowa and Ohio, shifted dramatically to the right in 2016 and are projected to stay there. Others like Arizona, Georgia, and Texas have gone from conservative bastions to near toss ups because of shifting demographics. 2020 will provide even more insight into where the electoral map is going.

Week 169 covid

Since hitting a peak in June and July, new coronavirus cases in the United States are slowly starting to decline. And it’s states like Louisiana, Florida, and Arizona driving the dip, which have all implemented mask mandates and reversed course on reopening local businesses like bars and gyms. Even with a flattening curve though, the outbreak in the U.S. remains among the worst in the world.

Week 169 mall

As the pandemic continues, malls across the United States face an uncertain future. It’s the 300 “Class B” malls, in particular — with fairly average sales and mounting vacancies — that may struggle most to survive. As major retailers like JCPenney, Forever 21, and GNC file for bankruptcy, some mall owners are now looking to simply buy their tenants’ businesses, a move that has industry experts worried about the long-term prospects of malls.

Week 169 data

The pandemic has certainly brought data visualization to the fore, as live trackers from Johns Hopkins, New York Times, and other media outlets have garnered millions of views. But in truth, data viz has been helping the public understand societal and health issues for at least two centuries. This article in TIME takes us through some of the highlights in the field’s history.