scale

9 posts
Mass exodus at human scale

Big numbers are too abstract in our minds to fully understand the scale of things. So, to show the full gravity of the hundreds of thousands of Muslims fleeing Myanmar’s Rakhine state, Reuters starts with the individuals and builds your intuition towards the true scale. Tags: human, scale

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Measuring things with ships

We might be in an age of big data, but people have been trying to convey large numbers for a long time. John F. Ptak takes a quick look through the archives for the size of big things compared to ships. “These units of measurement do seem a little odd, but they really have a capacity to humanize inescapably difficult numbers by putting them in context with a known entity,...

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Speed demon quartered and shrunk

Reader Richard K. submitted a link to Microsoft Edge's website. This chart uses three speedometers to tell the story that Microsoft's Edge browser is faster than Chrome or Firefox. These speedometer charts are disguised racetrack charts. Read last week's post first if you haven't. Richard complained the visual design distorting the data. How the distortion entered the picture is a long story. Let's begin with an accurate representation of the...

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Unintentional deception of area expansion #bigdata #piechart

Someone sent me this chart via Twitter, as an example of yet another terrible pie chart. (I couldn't find that tweet anymore but thank you to the reader for submitting this.) At first glance, this looks like a pie chart with the radius as a second dimension. But that is the wrong interpretation. In a pie chart, we typically encode the data in the angles of the pie sectors, or...

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Pints, water, fishes, pond

@apollo_0 on twitter asks me to comment on this, by Scientific Britain:   Here's my comment:  

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Solar System in a bottle

From Little Planet Factory, a Solar System in a bottle made to scale: A small bottle attempting to maintain the correct scale between the 8 planets of the solar system at a scale of 1:5,000,000,000. Much as in reality the entire bottle is almost entirely dominated by the volume (and mass) of the four gas giants while the four solid planets settle almost dust like in comparison at the bottom...

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Sorting out what’s meaningful and what’s not

A few weeks ago, the New York Times Upshot team published a set of charts exploring the relationship between school quality, home prices and commute times in different regions of the country. The following is the chart for the New York/New Jersey region. (The article and complete data visualization is here.) This chart is primarily a scatter plot of home prices against school quality, which is represented by average test...

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Scale of Aleppo against Berlin and London

A lot of people around the world including myself don’t quite understand the scale of what’s going on in Syria. We just know it’s bad. Hans Hack overlaid Aleppo on top of London and Berlin to give you a better idea. As a geographical reference point, the historical center of Aleppo (The Citadel of Aleppo) has been superimposed on that of Berlin (Museum Island) and London (The Tower of London)....

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Much more to do after selecting a chart form

I sketched out this blog post right before the Superbowl - and was really worked up as I happened to be flying into Atlanta right after they won (well, according to any of our favorite "prediction engines," the Falcons had 95%+ chance of winning it all a minute from the end of the 4th quarter!) What I'd give to be in the SuperBowl-winning city the day after the victory! Maybe...

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Butcher: which part of the leg do you want? Me: All of it, in five pieces please

This ABC News chart seemed to have taken over the top of my Twitter feed so I better comment on it. Someone at ABC News tried really hard to dress up the numbers. The viz is obviously rigged - Obama at 79% should be double the length of Trump's 40% but not even close! In the Numbersense book (Chapter 1), I played the role of the Devious Admissions Officer who...

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