small multiples

14 posts
Visualizing electoral college politics: exercise in displaying relationships between variables

Reader Berry B. sent in a tip quite some months ago that I just pulled out of my inbox. He really liked the Washington Post's visualization of the electoral college in the Presidential election. (link) One of the strengths of this project is the analysis that went on behind the visualization. The authors point out that there are three variables at play: the population of each state, the votes casted...

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The less-is-more story, and its meta

The Schwab magazine has an interesting discussion of a marketing research study purportedly showing "less is more" when it comes to consumer choice. They summarized the experimental setup and results in the following succinct graphic: The data consist of nested proportions. For example, among those seeing display 1, 60% stopped to look at the jams, and among those who stopped, 3% purchased. The nesting is presented as overlap in this...

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Some like it packed, some like it piled, and some like it wrapped

In addition to Xan's "packed bars" (which I discussed here), there are some related efforts to improve upon the treemap. To recap, treemap is a design to show parts against the whole, and it works by packing rectangles into the bounding box. Frequently, this leads to odd-shaped rectangles, e.g. really thin and really tall ones, and it asks readers to estimate relative areas of differently-scaled boxes. We often make mistakes...

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Canadian winters in cold gray

I was looking at some Canadian data graphics while planning my talk in Vancouver this Thursday (you can register for the free talk here). I love the concept behind the following chart: Based on the forecasted temperature for 2015 (specifically the temperature on Christmas Eve), the reporter for National Post asked whether the winter of 2015 would be colder or warmer than the winters on record since 1990. The accompanying...

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Life expectancy by state, against the US average

FiveThirtyEight continues their look at mortality by geography. This graphic by Anna Maria Barry-Jester compares life expectancy over time for each state. Purple means below average and orange means above. The good news is that all the lines trend upward. The bad news is that some states are trending upwards much more slowly than the rest. Tags: FiveThirtyEight, mortality, small multiples

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Confuse, confuses, confused, confusing

Via Twitter, @Stoltzmaniac sent me this chart, from the Economist (link to article): There is simply too much going on on the right side of the chart. The designer seems not to be able to decide which metric is more important, the cumulative growth rate of vehicles in use from 2005 to 2014, or the vehicles per 1,000 people in 2014. So both set of numbers are placed on the...

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Visualizing citation impact

Michael Bales and his associates at Cornell are working on a new visual tool for citations data. This is an area that is ripe for some innovation. There is a lot of data available but it seems difficult to gain insights from them. The prototypical question is how authoritative is a particular researcher or research group, judging from his or her or their publications. A proxy for "quality" is the...

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Happy Valentine’s Day, America: Charting Our Declining Marriage Rate

It’s Valentine’s Day, a perfect time to note that the marriage rate in the United States has been on a steady decline for decades, save for a brief spike in 2012. So romantic. Here’s the rate per 1,000 people since 1997: You can also view that rate by state. What’s up with you, Hawaii? (I’ve excluded Nevada, which skewed the axes for all the small multiples because of its freewheeling...

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Layered donuts have excess fats and oils

Via Twitter, Nicholas S. sent this chart: It's a layered donut. There isn't much context here except that the chart comes from USDA. Judging from the design, I surmise that the key message is the change in proportion by food groups between 1970 and 2014. I am assuming that these food groups are exhaustive so that it makes sense to put them in a donut chart, with all pieces adding...

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Four Decades of State Unemployment Rates, in Small Multiples, Part 2

I posted recently about how the state-by-state unemployment rate has changed during my lifetime. The result was a small multiples grid that put the states in context with one another. Today I’ve created a new version aimed at identifying more precisely how each state has differed from the national unemployment rate during the last four decades. The lines show the percentage point difference — above (worst) or below (better) — from...

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