Posts by alisonkanski

The big donors to political candidates have largely consisted of men, however, in the past couple presidential elections the role of women donors has grown. They are now donating almost as much as men. There are still more large donations from men (more than $5,000), but there are more women donating smaller amounts, especially for the democrats in the 2008 and 2012 elections. We will show the change in women donors in the 2008 and 2012 presidential elections and predict the role women’s donations will play in the 2016 election. Considering Hillary draws a lot of the female vote, she may also draw money from these female donors. Bernie Sanders, the most recent 2016 candidate, also drew one of the highest percentages of female donors in his 2012 Senate bid.

2012 Election
2008 Election

Human sources:
Andrew Polski, American politics Hunter College prof,
Charles Tien, women in politics Hunter College prof,
Corey Robin, modern political/economic thought CUNY Grad Center prof,
Donna Hoffman, University of Northern Iowa, 319-273-5916,

The poor can be subjected to more health hazards than other socioeconomic classes. One of these is breathing clean air. Factories and other pollutants are often placed in the low-income areas of cities. I will compare the EPA’s data of facilities that emit greenhouse gases and the number of poor in the vicinity of the facilities. I will look at the facilities in New York for this story.

Data source:

EPA and Census

By Alison Kanski

Water’s Edge by Reuters was an enormous investigative story about the rising sea level and its effects on coastal areas, mostly focusing on the U.S., but also looking briefly at southeast Asia. This article is very long and packed with data and visualizations, so I’m just going to look at a few of them.

The first graph was definitely the strongest. At first it looks overwhelming, but it clearly shows the general trend upward in coastal flooding. If the reader wanted to find a particular city (like I looked for Charleston, SC), the drop down menu to the right of the chart made it really easy. Rather than hunting through the jumbled lines, you can just pick a city that interests you and see the data for it. One issue with this graph is that some of the lines are broken due to missing data. The note below the graph explains that the data is missing because there were incomplete records for certain years.

The floods per station map was certainly a really cool thing to watch, but it moved too fast to even register the number of floods per station before it moved on to the next year. But the general idea to show that coastal flooding has increased is clear. One issues is that more stations are added as time goes on. In 1920, there are only nine stations, but in 2013 there are easily four times that. I think that may skew the reader’s perception of the floods. There are more pulses on the map both because there are more floods and because there are more stations recording the floods.

The two maps were not very interesting. The use of the color gradient was hard to distinguish, particularly the gray, and there was no interactivity to show specifics for each shaded area for either map. The layers icon in the top left is also an issue. I only noticed it after staring at the maps for a few minutes, so the average reader would most likely not notice it’s there. Although that may be for the best. When I started playing around with the layers, it almost made the maps more confusing because some of the layers overlaid each other and others didn’t. I was spending more time trying to figure out the layers than actually looking at the map. It was the most user-friendly experience.

Overall, I thought this was a great data viz story. A massive amount of data and research clearly went into it and, in general, it was organized and presented well. It takes some time and dedication to the story to get through this entire article, but I certainly think it’s worth it.


Damian Geminder and Alison Kanski

The second year of Obamacare registration ended on February 15. With the kinks from the first-year learning curve mostly worked out, the process was smoother than last year and reached more people. Between January 2014 and January 2015, the enrollment in state or federal healthcare rose by more than one million people in New York, according to the New York State Department of Health. With enrollment rising it’s expected that uninsured rates would fall and in 2014 the uninsured rate in New York had dropped to about 10 percent, according to a Gallup poll. That leaves nearly two million people still uninsured as of 2014. We want to answer the question, why is 10 percent of the population still uninsured?

Monthly Medicaid enrollment reports, NYS Dept of Health
Rate of uninsured by state, Gallup poll
Projected 2014 population, Census Bureau

Sana Hashmi, Director of Health Care Reform, EmblemHealth, 646-447-5270 (spoken to already)
Jonathan Engel, Baruch Professor health care/health policy, 646-660-6829,
Juliana Perez, Community Outreach Educator, Community Healthcare Network, 646-942-2997
Karl Kronebusch, Baruch Professor health care/health policy, 646-660-6809,