A Data Visualization Newsletter

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What We're Cooking Up

288 instacart

Instacart just surpassed a major company milestone: one billion orders. To celebrate, we helped Instacart’s PR team cook up a map of “grocery superlatives”, revealing the categories and items that each U.S. state and Canadian province are more likely to order than any other. It’s a fun way to say thank you to Instacart’s customers, shoppers, and partners.

Our Favorite Stuff

288 albums

Rolling Stone Magazine first published their ranking of the 500 greatest albums ever back in 2003. They’ve updated it twice since — once in 2012, and again in 2020. The 2020 list, in particular, saw major shakeups, with some albums climbing and others falling precipitously. In this visual essay for The Pudding, Matt Daniels and Chris Dalla Riva investigate the characteristics of a timeless album.

288 eclipse

We’re less than a month away from a total solar eclipse in North America, the first one since 2017. Searches for flights to cities along the “path of totality” — where the moon will fully block out the sun for up to an hour — have surged. Cities like Dallas, Little Rock, AR, and Columbus, OH are all planning for large influxes of tourists. Bloomberg shows us the best places to watch the eclipse, based on the path and projected cloud cover.

288 chips

Driven by the demand for increased computing power, companies like Intel, Samsung, and TSMC are reimagining how computer chips get made. The technological breakthroughs are happening at an atomic level of scale, as engineers find ways to cram hundreds of millions of transistors, or small switches, into one square millimeter on the chip’s surface. The Financial Times walks us through the latest in the battle for chip supremacy.

288 temps

In roughly 86% of the contiguous United States, winters have gotten warmer since 1980. That’s according to high-resolution temperature data from the Climatology Lab at UC Merced. Winters in New England towns like Boston and Providence, in particular, seem to be warming the fastest. Use this tool from Harry Stevens and The Washington Post to examine how much winter temperatures have changed in your city.

288 baselines

It’s a classic piece of wisdom in the data viz community: always start your y-axis at zero. And for bar charts, that argument has merit — the length of the bars is supposed to map to the data values themselves. But as Nathan Yau argues for Flowing Data, line charts are a different animal where the context of the data has to be taken into account.