5 Ways information was beautiful this year


Showcasing the best of 2016’s data journalism, the winners of the 5th annual Kantar Information is Beautiful Awards ranged from an analogue visualization of income inequality to an interactive of 5100 Olympic gold medal winners and much more in between. We looked at five of the winning works.

1. Earth Temperature Timeline

Winning gold for data visualization, this timeline developed by Randall Munroe provides a comical glimpse into the Earth’s average temperature since the last ice age glaciation.


Image: xkcd.

The pace of climate change is contexualized through historical milestones and typically jargon-heavy information is made accessible by the fun cartoon's throughout the infographic.

Visit the timeline here.

2. Missing Migrants Map

This gold-winning infographic leverages data from the Missing Migrants Project to visually represent all the people who have gone missing along migratory routes worldwide.


Image: Missing Migrants Map.

The map is characterized by a geographical guise, to show both the morphology of the territory, and to humanize protection issues associated with irregular migration.

Visit the map here.

3. Data Cuisine

Taking out the dataviz project award, Data Cuisine is an unconvention workshop run by Moritz Stefaner and Susanne Jaschko that helps participants "taste" data.

The workshops ask questions like "how would a fish soup taste if the recipe was based on publicly available local fishing data?" and "what would a pizza be like if it was based on Helsinki’s population mix?". Then, each workshop produces a dish compromised of food representations of a relevant dataset.

For example, the Eating the Distance dish presents a sequence of fruit crudites; Gin Rickey; Skyr yoghurt with honey; strawberry and mint; a creamy mango-pistachio bite; and, a coconut tapioca pudding with pineapple chunks and coconut cream, wrapped in a banana leaf cone; to represent the distance food travels, as well as the varying complexity of food processing.


Image: he Eating the Distance dish.

Visit the project's site here.

4. Spies in the Skies

Are you being watched? This data journalism project by Peter Aldhous and Charles Seife for Buzzfeed documents the US Government's airborne surveillance.

The project integrates long form journalism with maps, infographics, photos and videos to detail the extent and scope of the government's surveillance program.


Image: Flight paths following the San Bernardino attack.

Visit the story's page here.

5. ShipMap.org

Shipmap.org is an interactive WebGL map of commercial shipping movements. To help users navigate the data, the project incorporates a voiceover and explanatory tour of the map.

The project took out gold in the interactive category and aims to expose the extraordinary scale of modern commercial shipping, the routes these huge vessels take around the world, the geographic spread of different types of cargo boats, and the amount of carbon dioxide they produce.

Visit the interactive here.

Explore the full list of winners here.