AAAS Visualization Challenge

Posted on 03/02/2011 by

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Data visualization isn’t limited to the social sciences. As a case in point, the American Association for the Advancement of Science (which publishes the journal Science) recently held a competition for data visualization. There were some really cool ideas – a team from MIT tracked where pieces of trash ended up, a Russian team created a 3D model of HIV, and (my favorite) Peter Crnokrak created a visualization of everyone ever in the world, and if they died a ‘normal’ death or were killed in wars, massacres and genocides in humankind’s recorded history. Its a sobering account, but am I the only one who thinks that the proportion (1.25%) is lower than expected? I’m guessing that the number would be higher if pre-recorded history was included, and I’m not convinced that the total number of conflicts have increased over the last 1000 years – we might just be recording more of the conflicts.

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