F

Notebook

Here's where we post periodic updates on what we've been up to at Fathom. Reflections on the interesting stories that emerge from our client work, side projects, after-hours rabbitholes, and other miscellaneous threads of inquiry.

Poverty, Health, and Neighborhood Services
Since its initial launch in the spring of 2014, we've recently finished updates to the Poverty Tracker. The tool, built with Robin Hood, shows how the Official Poverty Measure (OPM) underestimates the number of New York City residents suffering from financial poverty, material hardship, and health challenges. The recently developed Supplemental Poverty Measure (SPM) gives a more accurate depiction of what it means to live in poverty by considering location, modern-day spending habits, and varying sources of income. The latest update incorporates new survey results from Columbia University and Robin Hood to show how poverty is related to health and neighborhood services.
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The Massachusetts Conference for Women 2014
Last week, some of us here at Fathom had the privilege of attending the Massachusetts Conference for Women, where we saw Secretary Clinton and Lupita Nyong'o speak.
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Scaled in Miles has gone gold!
We are very excited about the release of our latest poster, Scaled in Miles. Based on one of the greatest jazz musicians of the twentieth century, Scaled in Miles looks at Miles Davis’ career through a timeline of his recording sessions and the musicians who collaborated with him.
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Mirador Data Competition: the winning entries
We recently organized the Mirador Data Competition, where participants were invited to explore public datasets in health, sports, and global development using the Mirador tool, submit their findings, and have a chance to win prizes. With the assistance of experts in the areas covered by the competition, we chose three winning entries, and today we have the pleasure to announce them.
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All States, the new All Streets
Because of the immense popularity of All Streets, we expanded our product line, and created maps for individual states. To accommodate our new selection of products, Terrence worked feverishly to design the Fathom Print Shop. The site officially launched yesterday—just in time for the holiday season.
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Marriage, Health, and Jobs
Public data is increasingly available from multiple sources: governments, economists, and research communities, to name a few. Open access is a fundamental prerequisite for civic participation and transparency, but freely-available and intuitive tools that allow users to extract meaningful narratives from the data are also crucial. That was our central motivation to develop the visualization tool Mirador, and also for the Mirador Data Competition we launched last month. The richness of public datasets is often extraordinary, and many of them are the result of the continued efforts of data collection teams, statisticians, and researchers over several years, sometimes decades. In this post, I would like to share some associations I found using Mirador on a large dataset of behavioral risk factors. These associations stand here simply as suggestive hints or directions that one can use to delve further into the data using more rigorous statistical analyses. This highlights the main purpose of Mirador as a visual exploratory tool.
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A Year of Earthquakes
In the last month, we built a tool that explores the global seismic activity occurring over a single year. The project integrates earthquake, population, and mortality risk data so that users can explore how the frequency and magnitude of earthquakes generates varying levels of risk around the world. Visit the site: fathom.info/quakes
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What the World Eats
Daily diets vary considerably around the world—and the food we eat often mirrors the wider structural circumstances of the places we live in. Whether influenced by strained foreign relations, growing economies, fluctuating market prices, or shifting environmental conditions, the food we consume depends on where we live. What the World Eats, our latest piece for National Geographic’s Future of Food series, compares national diets and consumption patterns across a variety of countries over the last 50 years.
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A visit from Ms. Bowden
Just ran across this photo of Darcy Bowden, my high school “Production Art” teacher, during a brief visit to Fathom last summer. Her class was a two-hour studio that I was able to take both my junior and senior year—my first exposure to real graphic design exercises (creating black and white ink drawings of concepts like “contrast,” or making artifacts in the style of other eras of design, and so many others...) and gave me a chance to build a portfolio that helped me get into design school. I'd wanted to take the class ever since reading about it in the course catalog as an eighth grader picking out courses for my first year of high school.
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Open India contextualized
Today, in collaboration with Sarah Rinaldi, we released a video documenting Open India, an interactive visualization we developed for the World Bank Group. The video was showcased at the Annual Meetings of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank Group (WBG). The Annual Meetings bring together central bankers, ministers of finance and development, private sector executives, and academics to discuss issues of global concern, including the world economic outlook, poverty eradication, economic development, and aid effectiveness.
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