The visualization consists of several parts:


The color of the data representations always represents the nation that initiated the explosion. They were chosen to represent the different factions during the cold war or the conflict between India and Pakistan, respectively. A legend explaining the colors can be found above the visualization.

Single-Bar Charts

Single bars representing the amount of nuclear weapon explosions or accumulated yield of the selected data points. The data is ordered to group nations of the same factions. The plot reacts on the filtering possibilities described below and allows to summarize the data selection. This plot was added to the project, because it allows to easily grasp the whole extent of nuclear weapon testing.

Stacked Bar Chart

The stacked bar chart shows the distribution of nuclear weapon explosion count or yield for every year per nation. The user can choose between an absolute or relative scale and whether to show the count or the yield by pressing the buttons in the upper right corner. While being nice to visualize the full extent of nuclear testing, single-bar charts cannot deal with the time factor. This plot remedies that and allows to compare the extent of nuclear weapon testing over time.


The countries who performed nuclear weapon tests are marked with their respective color. The borders actually represent their modern course. Thus the UDSSR is represented by Russia. The plotted circles represent the single nuclear weapon explosion. The size of the circles encodes the yield of the bomb in a linear scale.

Scatter Plot

In the scatter plot the single nuclear weapon explosions are plotted over time against yield. The yield is additionally encoded by circle size in the same fashion as on the map. The y-Axis was scaled logarithmic to allow for an overall better distribution of the data points. The yield of data points containing an unknown yield or a yield of 0 was substituted with 0.0001, which is lower than all other data points, to be able to calculate the logarithm.


The visualization is highly interactive. In the control form at the top of the visualization data points can be filtered by time and yield using the respective form elements or additionally by selecting the data points in the scatter plot by drawing a frame around them. The countries can be deselected and selected by clicking on the respective circles in the legend. For convenience buttons to select or deselect all data points were added. Hovering over data points on the map or scatter plot opens a tooltip with additional information and highlights the data point in both the scatter plot and map.


Since the functionality of the visualization is quite complex, a sidebar containing short help texts was added. This sidebar can be opened by clicking on a button in the upper left corner.


In addition to the user-driven exploration mode an animation mode was added. This mode allows to play a time lapse animation, in which the data points of a certain time range are plotted on the map. The time ranges used to accumulate the data can be chosen to be days, months or years to allow for different animation speeds. The animation can be played, paused, stopped and progressed step-by-step using video player-like controls. By using the slider manually the user can select a time point to view the nuclear weapon explosions during this day/month/year.