Four Infographical Morsels No. 5

Monday, March 15th, 2010

Tide Prediction
I liked the look of this one from Wilfred Castillo. Can’t really perceive its function? But love the detail.

Tide Prediction - Wilfred Castillo - Information is Beautiful

In Your Dreams
I really liked this visualization from Kailie Parrish. Not just for the stylish look. But for the subject matter. Stepping out of the info-, data-, stats-sphere into the deeply personal and a little bit magical-sphere. Nice! (I’d also love to see a version that was actually readable.)

In Your Dreams - Kailie Parrish - Information Is Beautiful

How Do I Get My Girlfriend To Shave?
Type a phrase into Google and it will attempt to auto-complete the phrase for you. An incidental feature but always hilariously revealing about the deep concerns of the group mind. I had a go at visualizing the query “How do I get my girlfriend / boyfriend to…” using the sweet tool Web Seer. See what you think.

How Do I Get My Girlfriend To Shave? Information Is Beautiful

How Safe Is Your Password?
A few visuals about the weakness of most peoples’ passwords have been doing the rounds. I like this one best as it adds an extra layer of sociological categorization. Due credit to Robin Richards.

How Safe Is Your Password? - Robin Richards - Information Is Beautiful

As ever, if you find anything worthy of being breakfasted upon by hungry info-nerds, please pass it on.

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Show Comments ( )

  • Tim

    Surely a true geek only needs one password, “trustno1″. Oh, maybe it’s the graph-visualizer’s own password and they didn’t want it included, is that it? ;)

  • anonymous

    i think is scary how big “your friend” is next to the other search words.

  • Yann

    I thought Web Seer was pretty brilliant, but it seems the arrow thickness represents the number of results, not the number of queries… So it doesn’t really tell us anything about the “concerns of the group mind.” Too bad! :)

  • Beat Attitude

    Nice. I wonder how many accounts get hacked from using the word “password”… I also wonder how many signup accounts prevent you from using the word “password” or “1234″.

    By the way, I don’t suppose anyone knows of software that allows you to visualise the time spent on websites in your web history? I’d be interested to know how much time I spend on e.g. facebook compared to the average! A search on delicious yields little…

  • Benjamin

    Due to popular request I’ve added a link to a high-res image for downloading here.


  • Tom

    The tide chart is gorgeous. I have a moderately nautical background, and i believe i can interpret it for you a little.

    It’s a radial graph, obviously. The angle denotes time passing, oddly, in an anticlockwise direction, in days since the start of the month (i don’t know which month – one with 30 days, though). Each night is labelled with the date and day of the week (although these are placed at midnight, and i can’t tell if they apply to the preceding or following day – that seems like an error in the design), and an icon showing the phase of the moon, this being directly correlated with the height of the tide. Noon and midnight are marked at the rim, and each day is divided by radii into six, on the traditional nautical pattern of four-hour watches (not showing a split dog watch). The background colour varies in sectors to indicate night and day; the times of sunset and sunrise are also marked at the rim, in yellow and blue respectively.

    The radius denotes the height of the tide, increasing from the centre. There are two pairs of curves on the chart: a pair for high tides (nearer the rim), and a pair for low tides (nearer the centre). There are two tidal cycles a day, and so a pair of curves for each; the curve for the first tide is coloured blue, and that for the second tide yellow. Note that these are the first and second tides of the *lunar* day, aka the tidal day – the period between the moon being at its zenith. This is a bit shorter than a solar day, so the two kinds of days aren’t in sync, and the first tide of a lunar day might not be the first tide of a solar day. The allocation of blue and yellow to first and second tides has the opposite sense to their allocation to sunrise and sunset, which seems like a bad idea, but then since there’s no correlation between solar and lunar days, that probably doesn’t matter. It might have been better to choose a different pair of colours altogether. You’ll notice that the first tide has its greatest range around full moon, and the second tide has its around new moon; that’s because of the influence of the sun, and its angle to the moon, but that’s a bit complicated to get into here.

    Along the tide height curves, the actual high and low tides are marked by dots, giving the exact time, and the height of the tide to two decimal places, with the units indicated by a single prime. That usually means feet, but two decimal places of feet seems like excessive precision, so it might be fathoms (and even then, it’s excessive). Height is presumably given relative to mean low water, as is the US practice, and so is sometimes negative (the rest of the world much more sensibly measures tides from the lowest astronomical tide, and so they’re always positive.). There are heavy lines overlying the tidal curves; these are presumably mean low water and mean high water.

    All in all, it’s a chart which displays a lot of information, although not densely. It wouldn’t be worth the space on board a boat, but it would be nice to have on a board in a marina (provided it was updated). For that purpose, it would be even better if there was another line, or set of lines, running around the graph showing the depth of the sill to the marina, or the channel outside it or whatever, so a skipper could have a rough idea of what time he’d be able to get his boat in or out of the harbour.

    Still, it looks great as is!