scale

72 posts
Start at zero improves this chart but only slightly

The following chart was forwarded to me recently: It's a good illustration of why the "start at zero" rule exists for column charts. The poor Indian lady looks like a midget in this women's club. Is the average Indian woman really half as tall as the average South African woman? (Surely not!) The problem is only superficially fixed by starting the vertical axis at zero. Doing so highlights the fact...

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Distorting perception versus distorting the data

This chart appears in the latest ("last print issue") of Schwab's On Investing magazine: I know I don't like triangular charts, and in this post, I attempt to verbalize why. It's not the usual complaint of distorting the data. When the base of the triangle is fixed, and only the height is varied, then the area is proportional to the height and thus nothing is distorted. Nevertheless, my ability to...

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Scale of a mouse plague

There’s a mouse plague in Australia right now. The words alone don’t express the scale and seriousness of this problem, but this Washington Post piece sure does. The combination of video, photos, and graphics clearly demonstrates the scale. It starts with a pair of mice and escalates quickly from there — and might give you the willies along the way. Tags: Australia, mouse, plague, scale, Washington Post

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Plotting the signal or the noise

Antonio alerted me to the following graphic that appeared in the Economist. This is a playful (?) attempt to draw attention to racism in the game of football (soccer). The analyst proposed that non-white players have played better in stadiums without fans due to Covid19 in 2020 because they have not been distracted by racist abuse from fans, using Italy's Serie A as the case study. The chart struggles to...

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Tip of the day: transform data before plotting

The Financial Times called out a twitter user for some graphical mischief. Here are the two charts illustrating the plunge in Bitcoin's price last week : (Hat tip to Mark P.) There are some big differences between the two charts. The left chart depicts this month's price actions, drawing attention to the last week while the right chart shows a longer period of time, starting from 2012. The author of...

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Coping with the big numbers

Connie Jin, who works for NPR and updates a Covid-19 dashboard, talks about in comic-form feeling numb to the large numbers and hot to deal. It comes back to the individual. Tags: comic, Connie Jin, coronavirus, NPR, scale

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Reading this chart won’t take as long as withdrawing troops from Afghanistan

Art sent me the following Economist chart, noting how hard it is to understand. I took a look, and agreed. It's an example of a visual representation that takes more time to comprehend than the underlying data. The chart presents responses to 3 questions on a survey. For each question, the choices are Approve, Disapprove, and "Neither" (just picking a word since I haven't seen the actual survey question). The...

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Compare the scale of any area in the world

Riffing on the Ever Given Ever Ywhere, which lets you place the Ever Given container ship anywhere on a map, Stamen built Scale-a-Tron, which lets you place anywhere on a map, well, anywhere on a map. Just draw a polygon around an area and then pan to compare the scale of your selected area against anywhere in the world. It’s scale-rific. Tags: scale, Stamen

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✚ Relative Comparison – The Process 136

Welcome to issue #136 of The Process, the newsletter for FlowingData members where I talk about charting better. I’m Nathan Yau, and this week I’m thinking about comparisons. In analysis and visualization, you’re often tasked with the “compared to what” question. How is this year different from last year? How does this offering compare against that other offering? Is that group better than the other group? Become a member for...

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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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