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Animation: 200 Years of U.S. Immigration As Tree Rings

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If you walk down the streets in the United States, the odds are that one in every four people you’ll see is an immigrant, or was born to immigrant parents.

While those odds might seem high, the truth is nearly everyone in the U.S. hails from someplace else if you look far back enough.

Visualizing U.S. Immigration

Today’s intriguing visualization was created by professors Pedro M. Cruz and John Wihbey from Northeastern University, and it depicts U.S. immigration from 1830 until 2015, as rings in a growing tree trunk.

The researchers turned registered U.S. Census data into an estimate for the total number of immigrants arriving each decade, and then the yearly figures in the visualization. One caveat is that it does not account for the populations of slaves, or indigenous communities.

From the Old to the New World

The pattern of U.S. immigration can be explained in four major waves overall:

U.S. Immigration Waves

The origins of U.S. immigrant populations transform from era to era. Which events influenced each wave?

Frontier Expansion: 1830-1880

  • Cheap farmland and the promise of economic growth in the first Industrial Revolution spurred large-scale immigration from Britain, Germany, and other parts of Central Europe.
  • The Irish Potato Famine from 1845 to 1849 drove many immigrants from Ireland over to the U.S.
  • The 1848 Treaty of Guadalupe ended the Mexican-American war, and extended U.S. citizenship to over 70,000 Mexican residents.

Industrialization: 1880-1915

  • Immigrant mobility increased with the introduction of large steam-powered ships. The expansion of railroads in Europe also made it easier for people to reach oceanic ports.
  • On the other hand, the Chinese Exclusion act in 1882 prohibited Chinese laborers from entry.
  • In 1892, the famous Ellis Island opened; the first federal immigration station provided a gateway for over 12 million people.

The Great Pause: 1915-1965

  • The Immigration Act of 1924 enacted quotas on immigrant numbers, restricting groups from countries in Southern and Eastern Europe, and virtually all immigrants of Asian origin.
  • The Great Depression, and subsequent World Wars also complicated immigration matters as many came to seek refuge in the United States.

Post-1965 Immigration: 1965-Present

  • The Hart-Cellber (Immigration and Naturalization Act) of 1965 overturned all previous quotas based on national origin. Family unification and an increase in skilled labor were two major aims of this act.
  • This decision significantly impacted the U.S. demographic makeup in the following decades, as more immigrants of Latin, Asian, and African descent entered the country.

E Pluribus Unum (From Many, One)

While others have mapped two centuries of immigration before, few have captured its sheer scale and impact quite as strikingly. The researchers explain their reasoning behind this metaphor of tree rings:

This idea lends itself to the representation of history itself, as it shows a sequence of events that have left a mark and shaped the present. If cells leave a mark in the tree, so can incoming immigrants be seen as natural contributors to the growth of a trunk that is the United States.

It’s no wonder that this animation showing U.S. immigration won Gold for the “People, Language, and Identity” and “Most Beautiful” categories at the 2018 Kantar Information is Beautiful Awards.

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Data Visualization

Ranking the Top 100 Websites in the World

The top 100 websites ranking reveals how people around the world search for information, which services they use, and how they spend time online.

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top 100 biggest websites preview

As a greater portion of the world begins to live more of their life online, the world’s top 100 websites continue to see explosive growth in their traffic numbers.

To claim even the 100th spot in this ranking, your website would need around 350 million visits in a single month. Using data from SimilarWeb, we’ve visually mapped out the top 100 biggest websites on the internet. Examining the ranking reveals a lot about how people around the world search for information, which services they use, and how they spend time online.

Note: This is a ranking of biggest websites, specifically. Brands that extend across platforms or serve the majority of their users through an app will not necessarily rank well on this list. As a result, you’ll notice the absence of companies like WeChat and Snapchat.

The Top 100 Websites

The 100 biggest websites generated a staggering 206 billion visits in June 2019. Google, YouTube, and Facebook took the top spots, followed by Baidu and Wikipedia. Below is the full ranking:

Global RankDomainMonthly visits (billions)ParentCountry
1Google.com60.49Alphabet Inc🇺🇸 United States
2Youtube.com 24.31Alphabet Inc🇺🇸 United States
3Facebook.com19.98Facebook, Inc🇺🇸 United States
4Baidu.com9.77Baidu, Inc🇨🇳 China
5Wikipedia.org4.69Wikimedia Foundation🇺🇸 United States
6Twitter.com3.92Twitter, Inc🇺🇸 United States
7Yahoo.com3.74Verizon Comm. Inc🇺🇸 United States
8pornhub.com3.36Mindgeek🇨🇦 Canada
9Instagram.com3.21Facebook, Inc🇺🇸 United States
10xvideos.com3.19WGCZ Holding🇨🇿 Czech Republic
11yandex.ru3.06Yandex🇷🇺 Russia
12ampproject.org2.76N/A🇺🇸 United States
13xnxx.com2.47WGCZ Holding🇨🇿 Czech Republic
14amazon.com2.41Amazon.com, Inc🇺🇸 United States
15live.com2.25Microsoft Corporation🇺🇸 United States
16vk.com2.16Mail.ru Group🇷🇺 Russia
17netflix.com1.81Netflix, Inc🇺🇸 United States
18qq.com1.76Tencent🇨🇳 China
19whatsapp.com1.76Facebook, Inc🇺🇸 United States
20mail.ru1.64Mail.ru Group🇷🇺 Russia
21Reddit.com1.55Advance Publications🇺🇸 United States
22yahoo.co.jp1.5Verizon Comm. Inc🇯🇵 Japan
23google.com.br1.38Alphabet Inc🇧🇷 Brazil
24bing.com1.32Microsoft Corporation🇺🇸 United States
25ok.ru1.08Mail.ru Group🇷🇺 Russia
26xhamster.com1.06Hammy Media Ltd🇨🇾 Cyprus
27sogou.com1Tencent, Sohu Inc🇨🇳 China
28ebay.com0.95eBay Inc🇺🇸 United States
29bit.ly0.95Spectrum Equity🇺🇸 United States
30twitch.tv0.91Amazon.com, Inc🇺🇸 United States
31linkedin.com0.91Microsoft Corporation🇺🇸 United States
32samsung.com0.89Samsung Group🇰🇷 South Korea
33sm.cn0.81Alibaba Group🇨🇳 China
34msn.com0.8Microsoft Corporation🇺🇸 United States
35office.com0.79Microsoft Corporation🇺🇸 United States
36globo.com0.74Grupo Globo🇧🇷 Brazil
37taobao.com0.74Alibaba Group🇨🇳 China
38pinterest.com0.74Pinterest, Inc🇺🇸 United States
39google.de0.73Alphabet Inc🇩🇪 Germany
40Microsoft.com0.72Microsoft Corporation🇺🇸 United States
41accuweather.com0.71AccuWeather Inc🇺🇸 United States
42naver.com0.64Naver Corporation🇰🇷 South Korea
43aliexpress.com0.64Alibaba Group🇨🇳 China
44fandom.com0.61Wikia Inc🇺🇸 United States
45quora.com0.58Quora Inc🇺🇸 United States
46github.com0.57Microsoft Corporation🇺🇸 United States
47imdb.com0.57Amazon.com, Inc🇺🇸 United States
48uol.com.br0.56Grupo Folha🇧🇷 Brazil
49docomo.ne.jp0.56Tata Teleservices🇯🇵 Japan
50youporn.com0.55Mindgeek🇨🇦 Canada
51bbc.co.uk0.55Public owned🇬🇧 United Kingdom
52microsoftonline.com0.55Unknown🏴 Unknown
53paypal.com0.53Paypal🇺🇸 United States
54google.fr0.53Alphabet Inc🇫🇷 France
55yidianzixun.com0.51Particle Inc🇨🇳 China
56wordpress.com0.51Automattic🇺🇸 United States
57news.google.com0.51Alphabet Inc🇺🇸 United States
58sohu.com0.51Sohu🇨🇳 China
59duckduckgo.com0.51Duck Duck Go, Inc🇺🇸 United States
60google.co.uk0.51Alphabet Inc🇬🇧 United Kingdom
6110086.cn0.5China Mobile🇨🇳 China
62iqiyi.com0.5Baidu, Inc🇨🇳 China
63booking.com0.5Booking Holdings🇺🇸 United States
64amazon.co.jp0.49Amazon.com, Inc🇯🇵 Japan
65cricbuzz.com0.49Times Internet🇮🇳 India
66taboola.com0.48Taboola Inc🇺🇸 United States
67amazon.de0.48Amazon.com, Inc🇩🇪 Germany
68cnn.com0.47Turner Broadcasting🇺🇸 United States
69jd.com0.47Various (Tencent 20%)🇨🇳 China
70apple.com0.47Apple Inc🇺🇸 United States
71google.it0.45Alphabet Inc🇮🇹 Italy
72bilibili.com0.44Bilibili Inc🇨🇳 China
73google.co.jp0.44Alphabet Inc🇯🇵 Japan
74livejasmin.com0.44Docler Group🇱🇺 Luxembourg
75tmall.com0.44Alibaba Group🇨🇳 China
76news.yahoo.co.jp0.44Verizon Comm. Inc🇯🇵 Japan
77youtu.be0.44Alphabet Inc🇺🇸 United States
78tribunnews.com0.43Kompas Gramedia Group🇮🇩 Indonesia
79amazon.co.uk0.43Amazon.com, Inc🇬🇧 United Kingdom
80chaturbate.com0.43Multi Media LLC🇺🇸 United States
81google.co.in0.41Alphabet Inc🇮🇳 India
82craigslist.org0.41Craigslist🇺🇸 United States
83imgur.com0.41Imgur Inc🇺🇸 United States
84bbc.com0.41Public owned🇬🇧 United Kingdom
85fc2.com0.39FC2, Inc🇺🇸 United States
86tsyndicate.com0.39Unknown🏴 Unknown
87redtube.com0.38Mindgeek🇨🇦 Canada
88tumblr.com0.37Verizon🇺🇸 United States
89foxnews.com0.36Fox Corporation🇺🇸 United States
90rakuten.co.jp0.36Rakuten Inc🇯🇵 Japan
91google.es0.36Alphabet Inc🇪🇸 Spain
92outbrain.com0.36Outbrain Inc🇺🇸 United States
93discordapp.com0.36Various🇺🇸 United States
94amazon.in0.35Amazon.com, Inc🇮🇳 India
95crptgate.com0.34Unknown🏴 Unknown
96weather.com0.34Landmark Media Enterprises, LLC🇺🇸 United States
97toutiao.com0.34Bytedance🇨🇳 China
98youku.com0.34Alibaba Group🇨🇳 China
99adobe.com0.34Adobe Inc🇺🇸 United States
100news.yandex.ru0.33Yandex🇷🇺 Russia

Search Reigns Supreme

Search engines provide the connective tissue that binds the internet together, and they accounted for the majority of website traffic in the top 100 ranking.

Google is the undisputed top website in nearly every country in the world. In fact, Alphabet’s 11 domains in the top 100 ranking – including YouTube and a number of international versions of Google – racked up an impressive 90 billion visits in a single month.

Exceptions to Google’s dominance can be found in China (Baidu) and Russia (Yandex), where homegrown search engines have managed to capture the domestic market.

One scrappy competitor, DuckDuckGo, is slowly gaining prominence as an alternative to Google. The search engine’s focus on user privacy appears to be resonating with internet users as the site’s traffic has surpassed 500 million visits per month.

Full Stream Ahead

Video streaming and sharing is another major driver of global internet traffic.

Thanks to high-powered phones and bigger data plans, video is now a prominent portion of internet content consumption. This can take a few forms, from binge watching TV shows on Netflix to short-form video uploads on platforms like Douyin and Instagram.

Live streaming is increasingly a bigger part of the mix. Twitch, which is focused on gaming, is now ranked 30th in the world in web traffic. The Amazon-owned platform is now so popular that on any given night, its viewership surpasses many of the major U.S. cable networks.

Hours watched on Twitch

Of course, this category also includes adult content, which is well represented in this ranking. XNXX, XVideos, and PornHub all made the top 20, and the three websites combined for over nine billion visits in the most recent month of data available.

Old Dogs, New Tricks

Classic web portals such as MSN and Yahoo are still putting up impressive traffic numbers, but major players are increasingly staying relevant by acquiring rising internet stars.

In the case of Microsoft, acquiring Github and Linkedin helped the company target new markets and grow their overall presence online. Amazon’s acquisition of Twitch proved to be a good bet, and Instagram continues to breathe new life into Facebook, which has seen a backlash focused on its original namesake social network.

Google isn’t sitting still either. The company recently championed the open-source AMP Project to help improve the performance of mobile pages, which are increasingly bogged down by adware, unoptimized images, and JavaScript. In a short amount of time, the AMP Project has taken off to become one of the biggest websites in the world.

The project is not without controversy though.

Critics point out that cached AMP pages – which are hosted by Google – essentially cut out content creators, and that non-compliant pages may lose their ranking on mobile search results. As the project moves towards becoming a foundation, it remains to be seen how AMP will evolve and how much involvement Google will have in the future.

The Geography of the Top 100 Websites

The internet may be a global network, but many of the gatekeepers are still located in the United States. If international domain suffixes of companies like Amazon and Google are counted, 60 of the 100 websites in the ranking are American.

Below is a breakdown of the Top 100 by country.

Top 100 Websites Ranking by Country

China is a strong runner-up, with 15 websites in the Top 100. While most of these Chinese companies are focused on the sizable domestic market, some are also making global inroads through investment. Tencent has partially backed the fast-growing chat platform, Discord, and it also has double-digit stakes in Snapchat and Spotify.

With the exception of Baidu, all of the biggest websites in the world have swelled in size by serving a global audience. As the tech market continues to mature in China, it remains to be seen whether Chinese companies can successfully move beyond the firewall to become the next Facebook or Google.

Correction: Bilibili, a website run by a Chinese company, was incorrectly identified as a Japanese company.

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Data Visualization

Visualized: The Mass of the Entire Solar System

This interactive data visualization illustrates how the different planetary objects in our solar system compare based on their individual masses.

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Visualized: The Mass of the Entire Solar System

In space, everything feels weightless due to the lack of gravity.

So how do you measure the weight of objects in space? You don’t. When it comes to the cosmos, all that matters is mass.

Today’s interactive data visualization comes from Reddit user Ranger-UK, and is designed by Daniel Caroli. It delves into the different masses which make up our solar system, and how they all compare in size.

A Star Is Born

Perhaps not surprisingly, the Sun eclipses all other nearby objects by mass. At the heart of our solar system, this yellow dwarf’s gravity is what holds it all together.

The Sun actually makes up 99.8% of our entire solar system’s mass — and we’re lucky to be living in the other 0.2%. Responsible for all life on Earth, it’s no wonder that various cultures have worshiped the Sun throughout history, and even dedicated deities to it.

Currently in its middle years — the sun is over four billion years old, and it’s predicted to remain stable for another five billion years. After this, it will overtake the orbits of Mercury and Venus and then shrink back to the size of a white dwarf.

Out Of This World

The gas giants are all more than ten times as massive as Earth, even though they’re mainly made up of hydrogen and helium. They dominate the Solar System’s real estate — once the Sun is taken out of the equation, of course.

In order, here’s how the planets stack up:

PlanetCategoryMassRadiusDensity
JupiterGas giant1,898,600 x 10²¹ kg69,911 ±6 km1.326g/cm³
SaturnGas giant568,460 x 10²¹ kg58,232 ±6 km (*without rings)0.687g/cm³
NeptuneGas giant102,430 x 10²¹ kg24,622 ±19 km1.638g/cm³
UranusGas giant86,832 x 10²¹ kg25,362 ±7 km1.27g/cm³
EarthTerrestrial planet5,974 x 10²¹ kg6.371 ±0.01 km5.514g/cm³
VenusTerrestrial planet4,869 x 10²¹ kg6,051.8 ±1 km (*without gas)5.243g/cm³
MarsTerrestrial planet642 x 10²¹ kg3,389.5 ±0.2 km3.9335g/cm³
MercuryTerrestrial planet330 x 10²¹ kg2,439.7 ±1 km5.427g/cm³

Satellites Out of Control

The further away from the Sun you go, the more moons can be found orbiting planets. Earth’s singular moon is the fifth largest of almost 200 natural satellites found in the solar system.

Mars has two moons that don’t make it into the visualization above due to their low masses:

  • Phobos: 1.08×10^16 kg
  • Deimos: 2.0×10^15 kg

Here’s a breakdown of some other moons out there:

  • Jupiter
    Total named: 53
    Biggest moons: Ganymede, Callisto, Io, Europa
    These four can be seen easily with some help from binoculars.
  • Saturn
    Total named: 53
    Biggest moons: Titan, Rhea, Iapetus, Dione, and Tethys
  • Uranus
    Total named: 27
    Biggest moons: Titania, Oberon, Ariel, Umbriel
  • Neptune
    Total named: 14
    Biggest moon: Triton, which is as big as the dwarf planet Pluto.

Pluto and some “leftovers” of the solar system lie in the distant region of the doughnut-shaped Kuiper belt, between 30 to 50 astronomical units (AU) away. Beginning at the orbit of Neptune, the belt encompasses some of those objects in the visualization categorized as “other”.

So far, we’ve only managed to set foot on our own moon. NASA’s Opportunity rover helped us explore the Red Planet virtually for over 14 years, while the Curiosity is still going strong.

Who knows what else lurks beyond the edges of our solar system?

It suddenly struck me that that tiny pea, pretty and blue, was the Earth… I didn’t feel like a giant. I felt very, very small.

— Neil Armstrong, looking back at the Earth from the Moon (July 1969)

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