The Best Data Visualizations of 2014

Published January 7, 2015   |   
Nathan Yau

It’s always tough to pick my favorite visualization projects. I mean, it’s a challenge to pick and rank your favorite anything really. So much depends on what you feel like at the time, and there’s a lot of good work out there. Nevertheless, I gave it a go.

These are my favorites for the year, roughly in order of favorite on down and based on use of data, design, and being useful. Mostly though, my picks are based on gut.

One unintentional theme: All of my picks are interactive or animated or both. Telling for where we’re headed, I guess.

The Upshot

Last year, Nate Silver took his ball to play elsewhere, so the New York Times had a data-centric hole to fill, and they came out better for it with the Upshot. Whereas FiveThirtyEight kept their charts simple when it was with the New York Times, the Upshot tapped into the skilled in-house graphics department (along with a handful of new hires). And yeah, while I realize the Upshot is more than a data graphics machine, it might as well be in my eyes.

If I didn’t cluster the Upshot visualization projects into this one section, the individual works would dominate the list. Here are a few of my favorites.

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