The 25 Best Data Visualizations of 2018

The art of making data beautiful is taking the world by storm. Data visualization experts and artists are creating amazing things in the world of data design every single day.

Data visualization is not a new phenomenon. Even before it was “cool,” data visualization was an important tool for visualizing data in many different fields.

Technically speaking, data visualization encompasses all things data art, infographics, and data dashboards. The range of creativity truly is endless, and we are excited to see how it will keep progressing.

What has happened over the last few years is that data and data analysis have taken on a new quality. Data and information is now a tool for creating beautiful visuals. What used to be simple charts and scatter plots are now complex and creative pieces of data art—some beautiful enough to hang up on your wall.

In honor of all the artists and designers making amazing data visualizations around the world, here is a collection of the best data visualizations of 2018. We included a few from 2017 and earlier, because they were just too good to pass up.

View each visualization by clicking on the source link to the right of the image.

Best Data Visualizations of 2018

History of Bruce Springsteen

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TopSongs best data visualizations

By Adam McCann

This data visualization by Adam McCann visualizes every single song ever recorded by Bruce Springsteen. Using data from Spotify and other written sources, he was able to plot every single aspect of every song. The albums and songs are organized by rank in popularity. Each design detail represents an aspect of the album. The theme is reminiscent of plants with seeds, leaves, and flowers. It includes a How to read popup for easier understanding.

Hello Sun app

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hello Sun best data visualizations

By Small Multiples

The Hello Sun app created by Small Multiples, is a live data viz for your phone. The main dashboard visualizes the movement of the sun and moon in the sky in numerous cities in the world. The movement is depicted in circular sky maps that change color as the sun rises and sets. Each city is illustrated by a major landmark which is only seen when the sun creates a shadow of it. The app also lets the user know how sun behaves anywhere in the world through GPS coordinates. That way they can plan out a veggie garden or know if the apartment they want to rent will have sun in the afternoon.

Wind and Words

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Wind&Words best data visualizations visme

By Impossible Bureau

Complicated movie series and long convoluted TV shows make for great data visualizations. One such example is the interactive data viz called Wind and Words designed by Impossible Bureau. Using the dialog in Game of Thrones , this complex data visualization depicts the interaction between characters through all the aired seasons of the show. There are sections for direct interaction, vocabulary used, sentiment for each character, and a last section on how the data was used. All in all a very interesting and fun to explore data viz.

Launch It

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LaunchIt Shane Mielke best data visualizations

By Shane Mielke

When graphic designer Shane Mielke published his book, Launch It, he also designed an amazing online data visualization depicting where his book could be purchased. This interactive data viz is a spinnable world map showing live data of where the Launch It book can be acquired. To make it more interesting, the user can change the colors of the map and shapes of the markers.

Apollo

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Apollo Paul Button best data visualizations

By Paul Button

Paul Button is a graphic designer who loves analyzing data and making it beautiful beyond belief. He has always been interested in the Apollo missions and all things space related. Using collected data about every single Apollo mission, he created this data visualization. He sells it as an art print and is quite successful. The Apollo data viz poster is a real gem, not only for space exploration fanatics but anyone who loves seeing beautiful data on a regular basis.

Planet Earth

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Planet-Earth-Book best data visualizations

By Federica Fragapane

This book, illustrated by data artist Federica Fragapane, is full of colorful data visualization pages about animals and plants. Planet Earth is a children’s book, so the process of creating the data visualizations was a bit different than the usual data heavy designs we see elsewhere. Federica was inspired by the children’s books she read as a child and used a style guide to help her maintain a color palette for a balanced style throughout the book.

Keuzestress: Searching for the ‘Correct’ Mascara

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Keuzestress. Searching for the ‘correct’ mascara best data visualizations

By Sonja Kuijpers

Sonja Kuijpers from Studio Terp couldn’t pick what mascara she wanted to buy at the makeup store. In order to make a decision, she relied on data and her creative talent. Her visualization about mascara visualizes data from one online makeup store in The Netherlands. The data shows the color of each mascara and what its special characteristics are; lash separation, giving volume or length, and waterproof capabilities. With this data analysis she was able to figure out just which mascara she needed. Creating beautiful data art in the process.

Marvel Cinematic Universe

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Marvel Cinematic Universe best data visualizations

By Strait Times

If you have seen any of the Marvel movies, you know that the characters and stories are intertwined with all the other movies. Since 2008, all Marvel movies actually make up the Marvel Cinematic Universe. With this interactive data visualization, now there is a fun way to understand connections between characters and movies inside the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Created by the data artists of the Straits Times in Singapore, this data viz is entertaining and easy to navigate. Marvel fanatics will really enjoy this one!

Living Space

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LivingSpace best data visualizations

By Beyond Words Studio

Living Space is an interactive data visualization about the International Space Station. Beyond Words Studio designed the project for BBC Future. The interactive design depicts every step of the construction of the International Space Station. This Data Viz / Interactive infographic is from 2015 but it’s still a big favorite with us.

The Many Moons of Jupiter

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The-Many-Moons-of-Jupiter best data visualizations

By James Round

Do you know how many moons Jupiter really has? Did you know that Ganymedes, the largest one, is bigger than the planet Mercury? Designer James Round created this data visualization about the many moons of Jupiter with data about the names, sizes, date of discovery, and discoverer about each moon. It’s easy to read and quite colorful. It could easily be printed as a poster to hang on the wall.

Crazy Rich Asians

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Crazy Rich Asians best data visualizations

Crazy Rich Asians

The hottest movie of the summer stirred up some realities about rich Asians not only in the US but also in Asia. The South China Morning Post created a series of data viz charts and interactive visualizations about the real wealth gap in Asian countries compared to the rest of the world. The entire set is quite interesting, the more fun being the interactive chart about how much rich people spend on clothes. The data adds up as you dress the people in the chart.

The Women of Data Viz

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The-Women-of-Data-Viz best data visualizations