scale

166 posts
Finding the hidden information behind nice-looking charts

This chart from Business Insider caught my attention recently. (link) There are various things they did which I like. The use of color to draw a distinction between the top 3 lines and the line at the bottom - which tells the story that the bottom 50% has been left far behind. Lines being labelled directly is another nice touch. I usually like legends that sit atop the chart; in...

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Make the Ever Given get stuck anywhere

The Ever Given got stuck in the Suez Canal. It was refloated. So now you can use this “ridiculous thing” by Garrett Dash Nelson to get the Ever Given stuck anywhere in the world. Show the ship to scale and click-and-drag the satellite imagery, and you get a pretty good idea of how big the thing is. Tags: Ever Given, Garrett Dash Nelson, scale, Suez Canal

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What if a giant banana was orbiting Earth

yeti dynamics imagined if a giant banana were orbiting Earth from the same distance as the International Space Station: It’s so dumb, which is why it’s so good. And you’re in luck, because this video is from a few years ago, and yeti dynamics has many variants, such as: if the moon were replaced by planets and if all the planets were in between Earth and the moon. [via kottke]...

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Seeing CO2 is a playable data visualization

Seeing CO2, by design studio Extraordinary Facility, is a playable data visualization that imagines if carbon dioxide were visible. You drive a car around collecting bits of information about carbon dioxide in our environment, and along the way, you’ll see volumes of CO2 compared against well-known structures. Pretty great. Tags: carbon, environment, Extraordinary Facility, game, scale

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500,000 lives lost, an individual scale

The United States passed the half million mark for confirmed Covid-19 deaths. It’s difficult to imagine 500,000 of anything, let alone deaths in a year, so Reuters used a modified beeswarm chart to show the timeline of events and the individual deaths. Each dot represents a death, and a scaled down version of the chart appears in the top left corner to show where you are in the timeline. It’s...

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A note to science journal editors: require better visuals

In reviewing a new small-scale study of the Moderna vaccine, I found this chart: This style of charts is quite common in scientific papers. And they are horrible. It irks me to think that some authors are forced to adopt such styles. The study's main goal is to compare two half doses to two full doses of the Moderna vaccine. (To understand the science, read the post on my book...

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Reading an infographic about our climate crisis

Let's explore an infographic by SCMP, which draws attention to the alarming temperature recorded at Verkhoyansk in Russia on June 20, 2020. The original work was on the back page of the printed newspaper, referred to in this tweet. This view of the globe brings out the two key pieces of evidence presented in the infographic: the rise in temperature in unexpected places, and the shrinkage of the Arctic ice....

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These are the top posts of 2020

It's always very interesting as a writer to look back at a year's of posts and find out which ones were most popular with my readers. Here are the top posts on Junk Charts from 2020: How to read this chart about coronavirus risk This post about a New York Times scatter plot dates from February, a time when many Americans were debating whether Covid-19 was just the flu. Proportions...

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Is this an example of good or bad dataviz?

This chart is giving me feelings: I first saw it on TV and then a reader submitted it. Let's apply a Trifecta Checkup to the chart. Starting at the Q corner, I can say the question it's addressing is clear and relevant. It's the relationship between Trump and McConnell's re-election. The designer's intended message comes through strongly - the chart offers evidence that McConnell owes his re-election to Trump. Visually,...

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Tracking world’s biggest iceberg

The world’s biggest iceberg, A68a, is on track to crash into a remote island in the Atlantic. For Reuters, Marco Hernandez and Cassandra Garrison show the path, the scale, and what might happen with A68a: The iceberg is comparable in size to many well-known islands. A68a is very similar in size and shape to Jamaica, almost as long as the U.S. territory Puerto Rico, and dwarfs China’s Hong Kong Island...

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