Monthly Archives: June 2009

The King of Pop

Michael Jackson's Billboard Rankings

After learning that Michael Jackson had been rushed to the hospital after a possible heart attack, we scrambled to find a smart way to show the breadth of Michael Jackson’s career. Billboard’s archive of charts showing the Hot 100 Rankings for Michael Jackson seemed to be just the way to go.

It’s fascinating both looking back at his #1 hits — Billie Jean, Beat It, Black or White, among others (tho, suprisingly, Thriller never reach #1 as a single) — and also how his career compared, on the charts at least, with other artists like The Beatles and U2.


And Tom Jackson — assisted by John McGrath and Andrew Kueneman — took a project that had been in the works for a while to show reader feedback, in the form of reader comments and photos, in an entirely new way.

A Busy Week

We posted a number of interactives over the last week or so. The rundown:

Murder: NYC

Murder: New York City

We launched our interactive homicides map for New York City today. The interactive had been in the works for a long time, but kept getting sidelined by one project or another — an overly long primary season, Olympics, the election, and so forth. Andy Lehren, a database editor at the Times, drove the data collection and reporting side of the project, while Brian Hamman and Tyson Evans hooked Andy’s data up into an updatable feed. And Matthew Bloch built the terrific map that’s the front end.

Also, in completely other topics, check out Farhana Hossain and Archie Tse’s guide to the challenges in the health care debate.

Where 2.0

I was in San Jose a couple weeks ago at the Where 2.0 conference, which was a blast. I gave a quick 15-minute talk on our election results maps — presentation and related links are below:

Mapping Olympic Medals

Back in January, I answered a number of graphics-related questions in the Talk to the Newsroom feature on, including one about our Map of Olympic Medals:

Q. I was very impressed by the Olympic-by-Olympic medal counts you ran during the Summer Games; the bubbles representing the biggest hauls of each Olympiad were a microcosm of 20th-century political and economic power. Can you walk us through the birth of something like this? Did someone browse through the medal counts and see trends — the rise of the U.S. and, later, China, the unnatural power of East Germany, e.g. — or is this something that becomes clear after you’ve finished the graphics?
— John Dillon

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