Ten Eye-Popping Data Visualizations that will Blow Your Mind

Nadieh Bremer is an Astronomer-turned-Data Analyst-turned-Data-Visualization Designer and Artist who creates unique, captivating images that explore data sets and highlight surprising insights. She often creates web-based work to present ideas interactively, but even her static work is next-level.

Check out ten of Nadieh Bremer’s stunning data visualizations for eye-popping art that will blow your mind.

Royal Constellations

 Image Courtesy of Nadieh Bremer

Image Courtesy of Nadieh Bremer

For a personal project, Bremer traced 1000 years’ worth of ancestral connections between European royals. The ruling class’ penchant for marrying relatives kept the power within family lines and the peace between nations, Bremer writes on her website, but it also lead to “very interesting and entangled family trees” that she conveys through a constellation map.

The static result is amazing, and the interactive design (found here) gives users the ability to find the shortest path between two royals and to see how many relatives are connected to any individual over the course of the last thousands years.

The Baby Spike

 Image Courtesy of Nadieh Bremer

Image Courtesy of Nadieh Bremer

Bremer created this data visualization to map when babies are born in the United States. She writes on her website that because the data was available “on several layers of time-granularity” she was able to incorporate the numbers of babies born every week, every hour, and every minute to reveal how often medical intervention and scheduling plays a role in U.S. births.

The result was featured in the July 2016 issue of Scientific American and won a silver in the “Science” category of Kantar’s Information is Beautiful Awards.

A Breathing Earth

 Image Courtesy of Nadieh Bremer

Image Courtesy of Nadieh Bremer

Bremer’s personal project visualizes the vegetation health across the globe, animating the seasonal cycles as they shift from the Northern Hemisphere to the Southern, and back.  She writes that while “the rise and fall of the growing season in the Northern Hemisphere is particularly visible” in the visualization, repeated viewings reward audiences as smaller details about regionally-specific weather patterns come into their awareness.

The full animated design can be found here.

A Year in Flights

 Image Courtesy of Nadieh Bremer

Image Courtesy of Nadieh Bremer

Bremer created this data art to showcase a year of flights by Dutch airline, Transavia. The final piece takes the meta-data of 50,000+ individual flights that when combined also illustrate general travel trends around holidays and seasons. A 3 x 1.5-meter version of the piece was hung in Transavia’s corporate office to, as Bremer writes, “remind employees about the vast amounts of data that they can use in their day-to-day work.”

Bussed Out

 Image Courtesy of Nadieh Bremer

Image Courtesy of Nadieh Bremer

Bremer created poignant animated visualizations for The Guardian’s investigative report on the nation’s homeless relocation efforts. In one notable piece, she traced the paths of 21,400+ homeless bus relocation journeys across the United States from 2011 - 2017. Her comprehensive visualization also included the number of homeless arrivals that every destination city ultimately absorbed.

Bussed Out won “Best Data Visualization” in the 2018 North American Digital Media Awards and was a finalist for “innovation” at the Amnesty Media Awards.

Olympic Feathers

 Image Courtesy of Nadieh Bremer

Image Courtesy of Nadieh Bremer

For a personal project, Bremer visualized how every Olympic gold medal ever awarded was won, in what sport, and by whom. She writes that since the 1904 games, more than 5,000 Olympic winners have been rewarded with a gold medal. Because her visualization “shows the entire history” of Olympic gold, she says, it “lets the viewer decide what they want to focus on.”

The Top 2000s

 Image Courtesy of Nadieh Bremer

Image Courtesy of Nadieh Bremer

For almost 20 years, Dutch National Radio 2 listeners vote on the 2000 most popular songs of all time, and the resulting list is played on the air from 12:00 pm on December 25th to New Years Eve. Bremer reports that “over half of the Dutch population listens to the Top 2000 every year,” and that the majority of the songs for which listeners vote track back to the 1970s and 1980s. Bremer’s elaborate visualization captures the details of every song ever included in the Top 2000. It also includes the songs’ highest positions on the station’s weekly Top 40.

Want more? Bremer’s fascinating interactive visualization gives even greater detail each song.

Who's Speaking in Middle Earth?

 Image Courtesy of Nadieh Bremer

Image Courtesy of Nadieh Bremer

Over the course of the the extended editions of the Lord of the Ring Trilogy, the nine members of the Fellowship say more than half of the 32,000 total words spoken in 11 hours of film. Bremer numbered the Fellowship characters from most lines to fewest, and created a fun visualization that showcases how many words each spoke in the 13 major locations in which the story takes place.

Ode to Cardcaptor Sakura

 Image Courtesy of Nadieh Bremer

Image Courtesy of Nadieh Bremer

For a personal project, Bremer created her own ode to Cardcaptor Sakura, a perennially popular manga series from the late 1990s. She writes that her visualization brings together and connects different parts of the series - the main characters, the chapters, the relationships and cover art - so that “fans can get a more nuanced understanding of the events that happen” throughout the program.

Figures in the Sky

 Image Courtesy of Nadieh Bremer

Image Courtesy of Nadieh Bremer

As a graduated Astronomer, Bremer is well suited for celestially-inspired projects, like a recent data visualization that she created to showcase the constellations of 28 different cultures, their similarities and their differences. She writes on her website that because of the wide variety of ways that different culture have interpreted the sky, the dataset was very diverse. She says she knew “that this story couldn’t be captured well in just one big visual,” so instead Bremer ended up creating several interactive and static charts and including textural explanations to capture all  the information she wanted to convey.


Want to see more of Nadieh Bremer’s work -- and to make some of your own? Check out her new class, Data Visualizations: 4 Techniques for Going Beyond the Default, now on Skillshare!