Finally! The On Think Tanks Data Visualisation Competition Results

29 January 2014
The time has come. After three qualifying rounds and a final, and thousands of public votes from around the world, we're now more than pleased to announce the final results of the On Think Tanks Data Visualisation Competition.

When we launched the On Think Tanks Data Visualisation Competition last June, we didn’t know what to expect. Although data visualisations were already becoming more popular in high-income countries, we didn’t know if we’d find the same approach to research communication in the rest of the world. Judging by the finals, I think it’s fair to say that we’ve cleared up that question — many think tanks from Latin America to South Asia, from Eastern Europe to Southern Africa have submitted top notch data visualisations.

And we’ve seen the momentum for more and better data visualisations over that time. We had some great blogs here on On Think Tanks that made the case for their use. John Schwartz, one of the competition’s judges, kicked us off by reminding us that data shouldn’t be boring. Oriol Farrés, from CIDOB in Spain, also showed how his think tank had utilised the new medium. And, of course, each of the judges (Leonora MerryAndrej NoskoJeff KnezovichEnrique Mendizabal and John Schwartz) couldn’t help but impart their advice on what makes a good visualisation. We also got a behind-the-scenes peek at how several of the winning entries from Brazil and from Hungary came to fruition. And in addition to the multitude of online resources we compiled to help think tanks to develop data visualisations, we also learned more about an emerging platform to support data-informed debates, and we’ve even witnessed the invention of datavines.

On top of all of that, Enrique and I debated if a pen and paper are all that is required to make a good data visualisation, or if a cantaloup is the real secret ingredient to a good data visualisation.

But now the time has come. After three qualifying rounds and a final, and thousands of public votes from around the world, we’re now more than pleased to announce the final results of the On Think Tanks Data Visualisation Competition.

The final vote was a 50:50 combination of a public ranking of the 10 finalists and the judges’ ranking. Where the combined ranking resulted in a tie, the entry with the higher ranking from the judges received a higher final ranking. And the prizes are nothing to sneeze at — 1st place receives US$2000 and up to $5000 to attend a relevant workshop or symposium, the team behind the 2nd place visualisation receives US$1000, and US$500 goes to the team behind the 3rd place entry — courtesy of the Open Society Foundations’ Think Tank Fund.

And so, without any further ado…

First Place

Title: Mapping crime in the Czech Republic

Organisation: Otevrena spolecnost, o.p.s., Czech Republic

Authors: Michal Tosovsky, Ondrej Skalnik, Zdenek Hynek, Martin Pulicar

Second Place

Title: Mapping Arms Data

Organisation: Igarapé Institute, Brazil – with Google Ideas and NISAT

Authors: Robert Muggah, Nic Marsh

Third place

Title: Skopje raste (Skopje is growing)

Organisation: Reaktor – Research to Action, Macedonia

Authors: Neda Korunovska, Risto Avramovski, Dejan Ivanovski, Ana Boranieva, Jana Korunovska Srbijanko, Tanja Maleska, Vlado Velkov, Ana Risteska, Iva Dimovska, Dimitris Rosikopulos, Kliment Patcev

Do join us in congratulating the winners! And also in thanking everyone who has participated in this competition — from the entrants for being brave, to the voters for your support, and to the judges whose expertise has been invaluable.