Design

148 posts
Election visual 3: a strange, mash-up visualization

Continuing our review of FiveThirtyEight's election forecasting model visualization (link), I now look at their headline data visualization. (The previous posts in this series are here, and here.) It's a set of 22 maps, each showing one election scenario, with one candidate winning. What chart form is this? Small multiples may come to mind. A small-multiples chart is a grid in which every component graphic has the same form -...

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Telling stories in visual, data-driven essays

For The Pudding, Ilia Blinderman rounds out his three-part series on creating visual, data-driven essays. This last part in on the fuzziest task of telling stories: Storytelling, however, is much more abstract — it’s not merely a technical matter of creating an image of a map, or designing the right chart; rather, it refers to the broader universe of considerations that impact nearly every decision you make in the way...

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Picking the right colors for your charts

Picking colors for your charts can be tricky, especially when you’re starting a palette from scratch. For Datawrapper, Lisa Charlotte Rost has been writing guides on color as it pertains to political parties, gender, and more recently, colorblindness. Rost put the pieces together for a single, more comprehensive guide on the subject. Be sure to check out Rost’s other guides on making better charts. She has a knack for explaining...

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Visualizing periodicity with animations

Pierre Ripoll provides several ways to visualize periodicity using animation. Moving dots, rotating spheres, concentric circles, oh my. He uses D3.js and it’s an Observable notebook, so you can see what’s going on under the hood. Tags: animation, d3js, periodicity, Pierre Ripoll

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Everlasting pie chart

Manuel Lima goes into the history of the pie chart, or rather, circle representations in general. Despite many people poo-pooing the chart type over the decades, it keeps hanging around: We might think of the pie chart as a fairly recent invention, with arguably more flaws than benefits, in regards to the statistical portrayal of data. However, if we look deep into history we realize this popular chart is only...

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Why “flatten the curve” chart worked

I know it seems like ages ago when we were talking about flattening the curve, but it was a rallying cry at some point. The charts that started it all weren’t particularly fancy or something to admire. For Mother Jones, Abigail Weinberg wondered why it still worked: There were axes and legends, and Drew Harris, a professor of population health, would later add a line representing the capacity of the...

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Guides for Visualizing Reality

We like to complain about how data is messy, not in the right format, and how parts don’t make sense. Reality is complicated though. Data comes from the realities. Here are several guides to help with visualizing these realities, which seem especially important these days. Visualizing the Uncertainty in Data For when you don’t know what is going to happen. Visualizing Incomplete and Missing Data We love complete and nicely...

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Drawing the coronavirus

What does the coronavirus look like? Rebekah Frumkin for The Paris Review highlights various illustrations and renderings, focusing on why each looks the way it does: The disease that has put the entire world on pause is easily communicable, capable of stowing silently away in certain hosts and killing others, and, to the human eye, entirely invisible. In media parlance it’s become our “invisible enemy”: a nightmarish, oneiric force that...

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Explore Explain is a new visualization podcast about how the charts get made

From Andy Kirk, there’s a new visualization podcast in town: Explore Explain is a new data visualisation podcast and video series. Each episode is based on a conversation with visualisation designers to explore the design story behind a single visualisation, or series of related works. The conversations provide an opportunity to explain their design process and to share insight on the myriad little decisions that underpin the finished works. It...

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Evaluating timeline layouts

To show events over time, you can use a timeline, which is often marks on a line that runs from less recent to more recent. But you can vary the shape. Sara Di Bartolomeo and her group researched the effectiveness of different layouts: Considering the findings of our experiment, we formulated some design recommendations for timelines using one of the data set types we took into account. Here is a...

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