The Statistical Symphony
The Statistical Symphony
Data is all around us—even in places you might not think to look. We talk to an archivist for the New York Philharmonic and a Columbia researcher to learn about how digitized records are helping shape our understanding of culture and class in the 20th century.
Music by: Ludwig Van Beethoven, Johann Strauss II, Aristodemo Giorgini, and Silent Partner.
The Panama Papers leak was one of the biggest in journalism history. Reporters from around the world spent more than a year combing through 11.5 million documents, including PDFs, images, and emails. In this episode, we’ll take a look at the tools and techniques used by the Panama Papers team and the ways they can be applied to fields outside of journalism.
Music by: Andy G. Cohen, The Insider, Salmo, Benedek, Maxim Kornyshev, TRG Banks, Kai Engel
Let’s hear it for the girls!
In the spirit of upcoming Women’s Equality Day, we looked into the many factors affecting ladies’ participation in tech fields—most of which are not captured in the numbers. We spoke with p5.js creator, Lauren McCarthy, Harvey Mudd College president, Maria Klawe, and many others to learn about the subtle, nearly invisible gestures and structures that make participating in the field more difficult for those who are underrepresented.
Music by: Inara George, Chris Zabriskie, Broke for Free, Brown Bird, Entertainment for the Braindead, Podington Bear
Oh, the places we go
In this episode, we’ll explore the great lengths people travel to collect a single data point. Between the door-to-door surveys of the U.S. Census, to the mountain treks for community health workers, and then to NASA’s satellites hovering more than 600 km above the earth– we’ll learn just how far data collectors go, and the many issues they deal with along the way.
Music by: Podington Bear, Chris Zabriskie, Adam Ribaudo, Inara George, Doctor Turtle, Pavel Tukki, Sunsearcher, The Insider
The truth about grandma’s perfume
We recently completed a project for National Geographic titled Space Monkeys & Tiger Wine: A Look at Global Animal Trade, which looks at the quantity, purpose, and primary locations of trade for more than 27 million animals worldwide. In our pilot episode, we dive into the implications and ethics of documentation, and explore whether your daily dose of rhino horn extract should be recorded for “medicinal” or “commercial” purposes.
Music by: Broke For Free, Lee Maddeford with Les Gauchers Orchestra
About Especially Big Data
At Fathom we spend our days exploring and communicating patterns in data—no matter how large or small it may be. And while we like to show everything data can tell you, it’s important to shed light on everything it leaves out. Our podcast, Especially Big Data, explores the many subjects data can document, which can include everything from what you ate for breakfast this morning to the variability of global ocean currents. In other words, people collect data to track almost everything these days, and we’re here to tell you what, where, and why.
Fathom Information Design, in Boston, MA, works with clients to explain complex data through interactive tools and software for mobile devices, the web, and large format installations. Founded in 2010 by Ben Fry, Fathom partners with Fortune 500s and non-profit organizations across sectors, including health care, education, financial services, media, technology, and consumer products. For additional information please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.