Golden Software Blog

Helping you learn more about the latest product information, tips, tricks, techniques, and customer stories so you can visualize data and communicate results with ease.

Maps and Graphs in Pop Culture

Here at Golden Software, we love data visualization! A graphical display conveys much more meaning from your data than rows and columns of numbers in spreadsheets, allowing for quick and easy analysis and interpretation. 2Dand 3D data visualization is both a science and an art. Today, I want to focus on the artistic aspect of data visualization, particularly the use of data visualization in art.

I recruited the help of my workmates to compile a list of some of Golden Software’s favorite uses of maps and graphs in pop culture. As I read the responses of my workmates, a clear profile emerged. We are lovers of fantasy, sci-fi, and quirky comedy! Read on to see our six favorite uses of maps and graphs in comics, movies, TV, and books!

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Jennifer Woodson
Thanks, Kurt! The cartoons are from Randall Munroe's webcomics at xkcd.com. Here is the URL for the Map Projections cartoon: https... Read More
Wednesday, 03 February 2016 08:39
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A Graphical Look at New Year's Resolutions

Each year, like clockwork, on January 1st millions of people take a long, hard (or maybe not-so long and hard) look at their lives and plan out their goals. I’m a list-maker and planner by nature, but I had never been into making New Year’s resolutions before I began working at Golden Software. All the statistics point to a system that is designed to fail. I heard on the radio recently that 75% of New Year’s resolutions are broken within the first 24 hours. Now, I don’t know about that, but it did get me thinking about the numbers behind New Year’s resolutions, and why the success rate was so low.

New Year’s resolutions by the numbers. These Grapher 11 graphs show the types and specific resolutions people make, what percentage of Americans make and keep their resolutions, and the percentage of resolutions that are kept over the first six months of the year. Data from http://www.nielsen.com/us/en/insights/news/2015/2015s-top-new-years-resolution-fitness.html and http://www.statisticbrain.com/new-years-resolution-statistics/ using our unique graphing software.

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The Sunniest Areas in the U.S. Identified With MapViewer

As December ushers in snowy days and fewer daylight hours, I find I am grateful for every minute of sunshine I can get.  Even ten minutes outside in the sun can renew my energy for the remainder of the day.  I grew up in the Midwest where winters often consist of many grey snowy days and very few opportunities to enjoy the sun.  As a result, I find winters in Colorado much brighter and happier.

As the days got shorter and shorter before the winter solstice, I found myself wondering which areas in the U.S. receive the most sunshine each year.  I found some historical sunshine and cloud data online consisting of the total hours of sunshine each month at over 250 monitoring locations in the U.S collected between 1908 and 1992.   I used this data to calculate the average number of sunny days per year at each location and then plotted the results as a gradient map in MapViewer 8 GIS software.

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Using Strater to Display Geochemistry and Geology of the Nyac District, AK

The Nyac placer district, where more than 600,000 ounces of placer gold were produced, is located 40 miles south of Aniak and 60 miles east of Bethel in Alaska. Under a mining lease with Calista Corporation, Nyac Mining Company has operated a mobile dryland washing plant in the area since 1990. In 2006, Nyac Mining Company was presented an award by the Alaska Department of Natural Resources for Outstanding Reclamation of Placer Mining Activity on several creeks in the area.

Richard Flanders, Project Manager for Nyac Gold LLC on the Nyac Project, uses Strater to display geochemistry, geology, alteration and mineralization data from the drill holes.

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Who Am I? Working with Personal Genetic Data using Grapher and MapViewer

Humans are born with a natural curiosity about ourselves and the world in which we live. Much of our infancy and early childhood consists of consuming the environment surrounding us, our five senses providing much of the data. As we grow more and more self-aware, many of us begin to ponder where we as humans come from. As science and technology advance, archaeologists, geneticists, and other scientists come closer to answering this question definitively. These advances also allow individuals to begin to answer the question Where did I come from? by using increasingly popular personal genomics services. A few companies providing these services include AncestryDNA, 23andMe, and deCODE genetics.

Several years ago, my interest was piqued, and I purchased a testing kit from 23andMe. I received my kit in the mail, sent off a vial of my saliva, and waited anxiously for my results. I wasn’t sure if I was more excited to receive information about my ancestry or my genetic health risk data! After a few long weeks, I received my results and sifted through my information. 23andMe reports ancestry as the estimated composition of DNA from 31 populations in the world. The report also includes estimated percentage of Neanderthal DNA, haplogroup, potential health risks, likelihood of inherited traits, estimated response to certain drugs, and likelihood of other inherited conditions. In addition to analysis and estimations, 23andMe also gives you access to browse and download your raw genetic data.  When reviewing the analysis and risk estimates, it is important to keep in mind that this is just a snapshot of your DNA. Not all genetic markers are reported and analyzed, and other factors, such as environment and lifestyle, are not taken into account.

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