If you've always wanted to see a one-stop image of all the UFO-related sightings ever reported in the United States, data visualization expert John Nelson just uploaded some pretty gorgeous black and green maps onto his blog.
The maps not only show locations of UFO sightings but also give details on types of UFOs and occurrences of sightings by season, and other useful statistical information.
The visuals give details of sightings based on data collected by the National UFO Reporting Center.
Nelson also offers a very thorough analysis of what exactly you are looking at on the maps. His blog explains the first in the series of maps:
"In order to visualize the actual sighting phenomenon, I needed to normalize by the underlying population. The first, more prominent map shows a simple ratio of the sightings by population. A per-capita approach. The second, smaller and slightly more complex map, shows a bi-variate mapping of sightings in the color dimension (dark slate for low-sightings and bright green for high-sightings) and population density in the opacity dimension (denser populations are more transparent)..."
Check out the maps in their full-sized and utterly detailed and expert collection and interpretation of statistics, ratios, and census data over at Nelson's blog, all about Data Visualization.
The maps reveal some pretty interesting information about UFO sightings. For example, who would have thought that Maine and New Hampshire would be such a hotbed for Flying Saucers in the sky?
And speaking of the classically shaped UFOs, it is interesting to note that sightings of that kind have been pittering out in the past few years and instead, UFOs of fire ball-like appearance have become more prevalent.
Hmmm, we wonder where the recent Jellyfish-UFO in the Netherlands, a sighting captured by a photographer, would be classified under?