Pop Viz: US Top Baby Names Since 1910 and #JAWS2013
I’m here in beautiful Essex, Vermont hanging out with some awesome women at the 2013 Journalism and Women Symposium (JAWS) Camp. I did a panel today, sharing the spotlight with Kathy Kiely from the Sunlight Foundation. They do some really awesome work making political data more accessible. I was especially tickled with the premise of their project politicalpartytime.org, which crowdsources and maps out political fundraising events.
I’m excited for tomorrow, when I will hold an hour-long Tableau Public training here at JAWS Camp. Learning how to use a new piece of software is already hard enough, so I like to use datasets that are more on the fun side, to make things a little more interesting. I also like to avoid datasets that are too specialized (e.g. economic datasets) because I don’t want to have to spend too much time explaining what all the data is. For this training, I was inspired by this cool map that Jezebel published about the top girl’s names by state since 1910. The gif action is cool, but I really wished I could’ve paused it and explored things for a second. The whole dataset from the SSA actually contains way more than just the top name in each state; it has every name with more than 5 occurrences in a state. That dataset ends up being over 5.5 million rows; too big for Tableau Public (but it is fun stuff to play with), so I filtered the data down to just the top names for boys and girls. I whipped up a little dashboard on the flight over yesterday that is pretty fun to play with:
- The first line chart at the top shows us which years had the least/most variation in top names. Click on a point and the map will filter to that year. Look how many Lisa’s there were in 1965!
- Looks like there is more variation in boys names than girls names.
- Letting the pages shelf flip through the years is hypnotizing. After it played once during my presentation, people kept shouting “Again! Again!” just because it’s fun to watch. Obviously, Jezebel’s gif tactic made sense!
Also: If you are interested in how I built this viz, you can take a look at the tutorial I built for JAWS attendees.