color

10 posts
Governor of Maine wants a raise

In a Trifecta checkup, this map scores low on the Q corner: what is its purpose? What have readers learned about the salaries of state governors after looking at the map? (Link to original) The most obvious "insights" include: There are more Republican governors than Democratic governors Most Democratic governors are from the coastal states There is exactly one Independent governor Small states on the Eastern seaboard is messing up...

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A gem among the snowpack of Olympics data journalism

It's not often I come across a piece of data journalism that pleases me so much. Here it is, the "Happy 700" article by Washington Post is amazing.   When data journalism and dataviz are done right, the designers have made good decisions. Here are some of the key elements that make this article work: (1) Unique The topic is timely but timeliness heightens both the demand and supply of...

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A chart Hans Rosling would have loved

I came across this chart from the OurWorldinData website, and this one would make the late Hans Rosling very happy. If you went to Professor Rosling's talk, he was bitter that the amazing gains in public health, worldwide (but particularly in less developed nations) during the last few decades have been little noticed. This chart makes it clear: note especially the dramatic plunge in extreme poverty, rise in vaccinations, drop...

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A look at how the New York Times readers look at the others

The above chart, when it was unveiled at the end of November last year, got some mileage on my Twitter feed so it got some attention. A reader, Eric N., didn't like it at all, and I think he has a point. Here are several debatable design decisions. The chart uses an inverted axis. A tax cut (negative growth) is shown on the right while a tax increase is shown...

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Alternatives to the rainbow color scale

Oh. It’s that time of year already. Time to hate on the rainbow color scale, which is still prevalent but equally less useful than alternatives. Matt Hall provides (scientific!) reasons for looking to scales that don’t include the full spectrum and some solutions. We know what kind of colourmaps are good for interpretation: those that increase linearly and monotonically in brightness, with no jumps or stripes of luminance. I’ve linked...

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Verging on trust

I’m not quite done with that Verge survey on social media popularity. Last time, I discussed one of the stacked bar charts about how much users like or dislike specific brands such as Facebook and Twitter. Today, I look at the very first chart in the article. This chart supposedly says users trust Amazon the most among those technology brands, just about the same level as customers trust their bank....

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Using a bardot chart for survey data

Aleks J. wasn't amused by the graphs included in Verge's report about user attitudes toward the major Web brands such as Google, Facebook, and Twitter. Let's use this one as an example: Survey respondents are asked to rate how much they like or dislike the products and services from each of six companies, on a five-point scale. There is a sixth category for "No opinion/Don't use." In making this set...

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The visual should be easier to read than your data

A reader sent this tip in some time ago and I lost track of who he/she is. This graphic looks deceptively complex. What's complex is not the underlying analysis. The design is complex and so the decoding is complex. The question of the graphic is a central concern of anyone who's retired: how long will one's savings last? There are two related metrics to describe the durability of the stash,...

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Choosing color palettes for choropleth maps

Choropleth maps, the ones where regions are filled with colors based on data, grow easier to make. However, choosing colors, the number of colors, and the breakpoints is often less straightforward, because the answer is always context-specific. Lisa Charlotte Rost, now at Datawrapper, provides a rundown of the decision process. The explanation is in the context of the Datawrapper tool, but you can easily apply the logic to your own...

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Three pies and a bar: serving visual goodness

If you are not sick of the Washington Post article about friends (not) letting friends join the other party, allow me to write yet another post on, gasp, that pie chart. And sorry to have kept reader Daniel L. waiting, as he pointed out, when submitting this chart to me, that he had tremendous difficulty understanding it:   This is not one pie but six pies on a platter. There...

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