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26 posts
Headless people invade London, chart claims

Some 10 days ago, Mike B. on Twitter forwarded me this chart from Time Out: Mike added: "Wow, decapitations in London have really gone up!" A closer look at the chart reveals more problems. The axis labels are in the wrong places. It appears that the second dot represents 1940 and the second-last dot represents 2020. There are 12 dots between those two labels, corresponding to three evenly-spaced labels. This...

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Is the chart answering your question? Excavating the excremental growth map

San Franciscans are fed up with excremental growth. Understandably. Here is how the Economist sees it - geographically speaking. *** In the Trifecta Checkup analysis, one of the questions to ask is "What does the visual say?" and with respect to the question being asked. The question is how much has the problem of human waste in SF grew from 2011 to 2017. What does the visual say? The number...

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Digital revolution in China: two visual takes

The following map accompanied an article in the Economist about China's drive to create a "digital silkroad," roughly defined as making a Silicon Valley.  The two variables plotted are the wealth of each province (measured by GDP per capita) and the level of Internet penetration. The designer made the following choices: GDP per capita is presented with less precision than Internet penetration. The former is grouped into five large categories...

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Foodies say, add dataviz spice please

This Buzzfeed article proves that foodies love their food served with dataviz (tip: Chris P.). Menus are an undertapped resource when it comes to data visualization. There are several examples worth discussing. Venn diagrams are not easy to read, people. Plus they are hard to construct well... note the asymmetric areas. Here is one without circles: Then, I pared it down to its essence: *** This beer map is pretty...

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Fantastic visual, but the Google data need some pre-processing

Another entry in the Google Newslab data visualization project that caught my eye is the "How to Fix It" project, illustrating search queries across the world that asks "how." The project web page is here. The centerpiece of the project is an interactive graphic showing queries related to how to fix home appliances. Here is what it looks like in France (It's always instructive to think about how they would...

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Hog wild about dot maps

Reader Chris P. sent me this chart. This was meant to be "light entertainment." See the Twitter discussion below. *** Let's think a bit about the dot map as a data graphic. Dot maps are one dimensional. The dot's location is used to indicate the latitude and longitude and therefore the x,y coordinates cannot encode any other data. If we have basically a black/white chart, as in this hog map,...

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Beauty is in the eyes of the fishes

Reader Patrick S. sent in this old gem from Germany. He said: It displays the change in numbers of visitors to public pools in the German city of Hanover. The invisible y-axis seems to be, um, nonlinear, but at least it's monotonic, in contrast to the invisible x-axis. There's a nice touch, though: The eyes of the fish are pie charts. Black: outdoor pools, white: indoor pools (as explained in...

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Lines, gridlines, reference lines, regression lines, the works

This post is part 2 of an appreciation of the chart project by Google Newslab, advised by Alberto Cairo, on the gender and racial diversity of the newsroom. Part 1 can be read here. In the previous discussion, I left out the following scatter bubble plot. This plot is available in two versions, one for gender and one for race. The key question being asked is whether the leadership in...

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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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Excellent visualization of gun violence in American cities

I like the Guardian's feature (undated) on gun violence in American cities a lot. The following graphic illustrates the situation in Baltimore. The designer starts by placing where the gun homicides occured in 2015. Then, it leads readers through an exploration of the key factors that might be associated with the spatial distribution of those homicides. The blue color measures poverty levels. There is a moderate correlation between high numbers...

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