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The Moksha Roundup

Issue #39, October 25 - October 31, 2022

Welcome to this week’s Moksha Roundup! This small newsletter is a weekly roundup of the latest and greatest in the data visualization/design/visual storytelling world. Every week, we compile our favorite projects from journalists, storytellers, and technologists and share them with you.

In this issue, we share great visual storytelling pieces from Ben Oldenburg, Nomic AI, and Bloomberg. If you’re not subscribed already and want to see more in the future, sign up below:

01. NYC Ridership Recovery

By Ben Oldenbirg

NYC Ridership Recovery by Ben Oldenbirg

Designer Ben Oldenburg has put together a series of visualizations utilizing the New York Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s day-by-day ridership data to give an overview of the current state of the city’s transit system.

The chart is interactive, with a wide range of options to explore the findings from April 2020 to the present. Website visitors can also select a date range to inspect how the services around the area are improving or not to accommodate commuters as the pandemic recedes.

Visit the piece →

💡 Want to make something like this? Check out these tools:

The Extraordinary Rise and Fall of the Covid Billionaires by Bloomberg

In this article for Bloomberg Wealth, reporters examine who gained wealth at the height of the pandemic and to what degree their fortunes have dwindled since then as people return to their pre-COVID lives.

The team behind the piece uses a line graph to showcase how billionaires' fortune grew exponentially and started to plug early this year. It also includes an arrow chart of sorts that displays the net worth of individuals and their net losses, one as high as 1,500%.

Visit the piece →

Small Gunmakers Find State Weapons Bans Offer a Lucrative Niche by Bloomberg

For Bloomberg, Jason Grotto and Michael Smith, with graphics by Kyle Kim, Raeedah Wahid, and Paul Murray, investigate how gun manufacturers bypass state and federal laws to build, sell, and distribute AR-15-style rifles.

The piece has a 3D model of an AR-15-style semiautomatic rifle, and it compares it to a model created by Dark Storm Industries, a manufacturing company, tweaked to avoid the gun ban in New York. These small changes enable them, and other manufacturers, to continue distributing the firearm legally. Various other charts show that the industry is taking advantage of the high demand for guns to make profits.

Visit the piece →

Silenced: Voices from Solitary in Michigan by Silenced

Zealous, Art for Justice, and the AFSC Michigan Criminal Justice Program worked together to create an interactive first account of solitary confinement and its effects on individuals in Michigan prisons.

The project asks visitors to picture a loved one being locked away with limited interaction with the outside world and in deplorable conditions with drawings. It then provides information on how people end up in solitary confinement, what it feels and looks like, and what it does to the mind through animations and photography. The project's highlight is the inclusion of the letters written and artwork created by those in solitary confinement.

Visit the piece →

Mapping Wikipedia with BERT and UMAP by Nomic AI

Brandon Duderstadt, Andriy Mulyar, and Benjamin Schmidt of Nomic AI have mapped English Wikipedia using BERT and UMA.

They provide users with a tour of their results using a multi-colored "map" with various tiny points, each representing an article. Users can zoom out and in as they please.

Visit the piece →

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