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Posts Tagged ‘New York Times’

512 paths to the White House with a binary election tree

Monday, November 5th, 2012

The Project: 512 Paths to the White House by Mike Bostock, The New York Times

This is a behind-the-scenes look at the creation of a visualization by The New York Times:

“The space of electoral college calculators is fairly well-trodden, so at first it seemed hard to do something new. The big problem here is the combinatorial explosion (2^n): even if you consider only nine states, you have 512 possible outcomes! So, you don’t offer much insight by simply enumerating outcomes or allowing undirected exploration. The challenge is to preserve minute details (micro) while providing an effective visual summary (macro).

We settled on a binary tree early on, but it wasn’t until Shan had the idea of collapsing parts of the tree into “decision” nodes that the design clicked. By pruning subtrees below the 270-vote threshold, you reduce the complexity substantially. More importantly, you get a much faster sense of what matters: who wins! And from there it was “just” a matter of implementation and refinement.


Location no?

Monday, August 30th, 2010

Not everyone is embracing location based services, according to an article in Sunday’s New York Times.

Matt Galligan, CEO of SimpleGeo, a location technology company that sells technology to companies who build apps, said that sharing location becomes a simple cost-benefit analysis for most people. So for them there must be some kind of incentive to share specific information, like for shoppers receiving points or coupons.

Location services are catching on more quickly with young people, who have grown up posting personal information online, according to the article. “The magic age is people born after 1981,” said Mr. Altman of Loopt. “That’s the cut-off for us where we see a big change in privacy settings and user acceptance.”

According to Forrester Research, only 4 percent of Americans have tried location based services and 1 percent use them weekly. These statistics show that men comprise 80 percent of those users, with 70 percent between the ages of 19 and 35.

Technology Aside, Most People Still Decline to Be Located

, Claire Cain Miller & Jenna Wortham

August 29, 2010, The New York Times (registration required)




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