Monday, November 21, 2011

Best Thing Today: xkcd Visualizes Money


I admit, I get kind of frustrated when people treat xkcd as the platonic ideal of webcomics. For one thing, people, there are tons of amazing webcomics out there once you dig past Top Ten lists (which seem frozen in amber at this point). For another, xkcd simply isn't one of the strongest webcomics of the moment (although, let's face it, Randall Munroe has much more important things on his mind). But when Munroe nails it, he nails it. Some of his most powerful comics aren't really comics at all, but striking infographics, such as his radiation chart, his height map of the observable universe, the gravity wells of different celestial bodies, and his epic movie narrative chart. Now, he's added a timely new data visualization to his collection: Money. There's been a great deal of talk about money lately, with the budget crisis and the Occupy protests, but it's hard for us to picture relative spending and cost when the numbers get so big. Munroe breaks down everything from campaign spending to the net worth of professional rappers to how much it costs to raise a child to age 17.

Naturally, the entire chart is huge. See the whole zoomable, scrollable thing here.

Money [xkcd]

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