Although I have no idea what my favorite beer, Belgian White, has to do with Lithium, I thought my beer-loving friends might appreciate Mantis Design’s Periodic Table of Beer Styles. Modeled after Mendeleyev‘s Periodic Table familiar to chemistry students, the Beeriodic Table organizes beer styles by density (alcohol content) and color. Sadly, the Beeriodic Table is now out of print, but you can download the black-and-white version from Katy Decorah’s Beer!, a website constructed for a semester project (I hope she got an A+).
If you stumbled onto this site accidentally while looking for a useful periodic table, you might find Michael Dayah’s Dynamic Periodic Table or WebElements more useful.
The Hint.fm site is also worth browsing, showcasing the work of Fernanda Viégas and Martin Wattenberg, who lead Google’s “Big Picture” visualization research group in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Their work – including the wind map – is easily some of the most creative visualization of data you will find.
A map of power outages as predicted by Guikema’s model based on the official National Hurricane Center track and intensity forecast from 18UTC (3 p.m. EDT) on Saturday, Oct. 27.
Johns Hopkins researcher Seth Guikema has used historical storm statistics to estimate that Hurricane Sandy will likely cause 10 million people to lose power, from Virginia Beach to New York City. Guikema’s model uses outage data from 11 hurricanes to estimate the fraction of customers who will lose power, based on expected gust wind speed, expected duration of strong winds greater than 20 meters per second, and population density.
The Photopic Sky Survey is a highly detailed photographic map of the Earth’s sky created by Nick Risinger, who travelled around the globe to capture 37,440 exposures of the night sky and stitched them together into a single 5,000 megapixel photograph. You can download, scan, and zoom through this incredible image online courtesy of SkySurvey.org (click on the info “i” icon at bottom left of the display to reveal the annotations).
Even more amazing is the Sky Survey app ($2.99 for iPad/iPhone) based on Risinger’s map which orients the displayed star field to match your current latitude, longitude, time, and the iPad’s orientation. In essence, it turns your iOS device into a planisphere and it is nearly magical to use, as if your iOS device has opened a hole into the wall or ceiling – or floor – to reveal the stars:
The ready availability of data and model results on the Internet means that, with a little creativity, you can aggregate your own data and analyses into a useful tool. So, let’s say you can’t stand the ads in HurricaneSoftware.com’s iHurricane HD (free for iOS, Android, Windows Phone) and you can’t afford Kitty Code’s Hurricane. Well, ZDNet’s review of hurricane apps points out that you could emulate iPhoneEZApps’ Hurricane Tracker 3.6.1 ($1.99 for iOS) FOR FREE by simply opening the following URLs in the web browser of any PC, Mac, iOS or Android device:
That is, you can fake a decent hurricane tracking app using your phone/tablet’s browser to open the above links. You could do the same on your Mac or PC, with the added elegance of opening each link as a separate tab in web browser. And you can’t beat the price.
Hurricane by American Red Cross (free for iOS, Android) is a tracker app that lets you monitor conditions in your area, coaches you in preparing your family and home, and helps you notify others that you are safe. TIME’s review notes that it’s a light on meteorological data, but this app is designed for public safety, not analysis:
The American Red Cross’ Hurricane app works for Android, but your other choices for Android devices are limited to STKI Concepts’ Hurricane Hound ($1.99 for Android), which also received an Honorable Mention in in BestAppEver’s 2011 Best Weather App competition.
From Thomas B. Greenslade’s virtual collection comes the Map of Physics, showing the relationships among the various branches of physics and the scientists that contributed to each stream of thought. This map, drawn by Bernard H. Porter in 1939, uses dashed lines as contours of time and represents the principal branches of physics as rivers. True, there has been a lot of interesting physics developed since 1939, but it’s still a useful illustration of using a map to represent a topology of thought, not just for locations in space.
To commemorate the seventh anniversary of Hurricane Katrina striking the U.S. Gulf Coast, the Washington Post examined 5 persistent myths about this hurricane and the destruction it left in New Orleans. This disaster killed 1836, displaced over 1.3 million people, and caused over $81 billion in damage in eastern North America, mostly in New Orleans and Gulf Coast Mississippi. Jed Horne of the Post lists these myths as:
New Orleans’s levees failed because Katrina was just too big. (Truth: The U.S. Army Corps and an American Society of Engineers Expert Review Panel concluded that the system of levees, floodgates, and pumps failed well below its design limits due to poor engineering and construction).
The state response was as bad as the federal one. (Truth: Kathleen Blanco declared a state disaster August 26, three days before landfall, and over the coming days would move 400,000 people out of New Orleans).
The storm gutted the heart and soul of New Orleans, turning it into a majority-white city. (Truth: The 2010 census shows the population of New Orleans declined about one-third, with a post-Katrina influx of hispanics reducing the city’s black majority from 67 percent to about 60 percent now).