The French takes back cinema but can you see it?

I like independent cinema, and here are three French films that come to mind as I write this post: Delicatessen, The Class (Entre les murs), and 8 Women (8 femmes).  The French people are taking back cinema. Even though they purchased more tickets to U.S. movies than French movies, the gap has been narrowing in the last two decades. How do I know? It's the subject of this infographic:  How do I...

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No Latin honors for graphic design

This chart appeared on a recent issue of Princeton Alumni Weekly. If you read the sister blog, you'll be aware that at most universities in the United States, every student is above average! At Princeton,  47% of the graduating class earned "Latin" honors. The median student just missed graduating with honors so the honors graduate is just above average! The 47% number is actually lower than at some other peer...

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Made in France stereotypes

France is on my mind lately, as I prepare to bring my dataviz seminar to Lyon in a couple of weeks.  (You can still register for the free seminar here.) The following Made in France poster brings out all the stereotypes of the French. (You can download the original PDF here.) It's a sankey diagram with so many flows that it screams "it's complicated!" This is an example of a...

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Crazy rich Asians inspire some rich graphics

On the occasion of the hit movie Crazy Rich Asians, the New York Times did a very nice report on Asian immigration in the U.S. The first two graphics will be of great interest to those who have attended my free dataviz seminar (coming to Lyon, France in October, by the way. Register here.), as it deals with a related issue. The first chart shows an income gap widening between...

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Finding simple ways to explain complicated data and concepts, using some Pew data

A reader submitted the following chart from Pew Research for discussion. The reader complained that this chart was difficult to comprehend. What are some of the reasons? The use of color is superfluous. Each line is a "cohort" of people being tracked over time. Each cohort is given its own color or hue. But the color or hue does not signify much. The dotted lines. This design element requires a...

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Two views of earthquake occurrence in the Bay Area

This article has a nice description of earthquake occurrence in the San Francisco Bay Area. A few quantities are of interest: when the next quake occurs, the size of the quake, the epicenter of the quake, etc. The data graphic included in the article fails the self-sufficiency test: the only way to read this chart is to read out the entire data set - in other words, the graphical details...

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Big Macs in Switzerland are amazing, according to my friend

Note for those in or near Zurich: I'm giving a Keynote Speech tomorrow morning at the Swiss Statistics Meeting (link). Here is the abstract: The best and the worst of data visualization share something in common: these graphics provoke emotions. In this talk, I connect the emotional response of readers of data graphics to the design choices made by their creators. Using a plethora of examples, collected over a dozen...

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Education deserts: places without schools still serve pies and story time

I very much enjoyed reading The Chronicle's article on "education deserts" in the U.S., defined as places where there are no public colleges within reach of potential students. In particular, the data visualization deployed to illustrate the story is superb. For example, this map shows 1,500 colleges and their "catchment areas" defined as places within 60 minutes' drive. It does a great job walking through the logic of the analysis...

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Environmental science can use better graphics

Mike A. pointed me to two animated maps made by Caltech researchers published in LiveScience (here). The first map animation shows the rise and fall of water levels in a part of California over time. It's an impressive feat of stitching together satellite images. Click here to play the video. The animation grabs your attention. I'm not convinced by the right side of the color scale in which the white...

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Visualizing the Thai cave rescue operation

The Thai cave rescue was a great story with a happy ending. It's also one that lends itself to visualization. A good visualization can explain the rescue operation more efficiently than mere words. A good visual should bring out the most salient features of the story, such as: Why the operation was so daunting? What were the tactics used to overcome those challenges? How long did it take? What were...

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