In August 2016, the National Park Service celebrates their 100th year of managing the United States’ system of beautiful national parks. So what’s a better way to celebrate 100 years of stewardship than to visit all of the national parks …

The Optimal U.S. National Parks Centennial Road Trip Read More »

About a year ago, I wrote an article introducing the concept of optimizing road trips using a combination of genetic algorithms and Google Maps. During that time, I’ve given some thought to how I could make that algorithm more useful …

Computing optimal road trips on a limited budget Read More »

A couple weeks ago, I ran across a research paper that inadvertently answered one of those awkward questions that so few people get the chance to talk about: How long does the average man last in bed? I was particularly …

How long does the average man last in bed? Read More »

In a surprise move this week, Reddit has started rolling out their own in-house image hosting service. This appears to be a direct move to replace the many image hosting services that have sprung up around Reddit—Imgur, in particular. Here’s …

Why is Reddit replacing Imgur? Read More »

Machine learning is often touted as: A field of study that gives computers the ability to learn without being explicitly programmed. Despite this common claim, anyone who has worked in the field knows that designing effective machine learning systems is …

TPOT: A Python tool for automating data science Read More »

Last week, I was presenting at a conference and discussing the merits of animated visualizations vs. small multiples. On one of my slides, I presented the following chart that shows the total fertility rate (i.e., the average number of children …

Why did so many Japanese families avoid having children in 1966? Read More »

Last Christmas, BMJ published a funny article exploring the mentions of positive and negative words in research abstracts over the past 40 years. I’ve recreated their research for two of the phrases below — “novel” and “unique.” Your eyes aren’t …

Spurious Extrapolations: Novel and unique research abstracts Read More »

For this post, I’m going to test run a new post series called Spurious Extrapolations, where I extrapolate time series far beyond reason and envision what would happen if the trend continued. Let me know what you think of the …

Spurious Extrapolations: What if U.S. college tuition costs keep rising? Read More »

Pie charts are the most widely berated chart in data visualization. Many articles have been written over the years describing why pie charts are bad, and why we should no longer use them. Even key members of the data visualization …

The correct way to use pie charts Read More »

I’ve been a moderator of /r/DataIsBeautiful — one of the largest online communities dedicated to data analysis and visualization — for the past 2 1/2 years. During that time, I’ve reviewed thousands of data visualizations created by amateurs and professionals …

Why posts get removed from /r/DataIsBeautiful Read More »