Neuron Culture

The Nieman Journalism Lab has a nice round-up of some beautifully informative and often luscious work that “visualizes” news — that is, turns news trends (and the social concerns and changes they document) into visual representations of data, like changing maps, splats of paint, or — a favorite — a simple needle meter.

For example:

An interview with Tim Schwartz (who has more great stuff at his site) about his indexing of various terms as used by the Times over the decades:

Tim Schwartz visualizes history (1851-2008) through word usage in The New York Times from Nieman Journalism Lab on Vimeo.

This paint splatter by Jer Thorp, as described by the J-Lab blog:

Below is his latest piece, which visualizes the frequency of “socialism” (orange) and “capitalism” (green) in the Times between 1984 and 2009, sweeping around like a clock. The bursts — for instance, of socialism in 1989 — capture the charged events they represent.