Each Tuesday, Eurry Kim, a student in our class, picks one example of data visualization to share with us. This is the last one. Thanks for taking on this challenge this semester, Eurry. You did an awesome job! Eurry writes:
With all this talk about big data, big potential, and big problems, I was feeling awfully small — in a good way. It’s nice to be reminded that there are forces, elements, and laws that are bigger than you sometimes. That you’re part of something bigger (e.g., this class). That you stand on the shoulder of the giants who came before you. And so, I present you with a visualization of the periodic table of the elements (I wish there was a good visualization about the Higgs Boson particle).
We’re all at least vaguely familiar with the periodic table. It’s presented here with the sizes of the elements made relative to their bounty on Earth. The concept of taking a familiar image (e.g., periodic table, map) and amplifying it with another dimension of data is akin to finding the perfect natural experiment in social science research. It’s kind of awesome. Can you believe that it was drawn in 1970? Indeed, there is nothing new under the sun — not even data visualization.
And you’ve probably seen this before, but I had to post it because it was my paramount inspiration for pursuing this thing called data science. Hans Rosling also got his start in the 1970s while working as a doctor in Mozambique: