The Billion Dollar-o-Gram

“Billions spent on this. Billions spent on that. It’s all relative, right?”

A treemap of billion dollar amounts
"The Billion Dollar-o-Gram, 2009 figures" by David McCandless 2009, used under a Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial License

Years after everyone else, I recently discovered these wonderful visualizations by David McCandless:

This image arose out of frustration with media reporting of billion dollar amounts. That is, that they’re meaningless without context. But they’re continually reported as self-evident facts. 500 billion for this war. 50 billion for this pipeline. Literally mind-boggling amounts of money.

He has many more (including a Billion Euro-o-Gram with more recent numbers) on his page, Information is Beautiful.