travel

40 posts
Say it thrice: a nice example of layering and story-telling

I enjoyed the New York Times's data viz showing how actively the Democratic candidates were criss-crossing the nation in the month of March (link). It is a great example of layering the presentation, starting with an eye-catching map at the most aggregate level. The designers looped through the same dataset three times. This compact display packs quite a lot. We can easily identify which were the most popular states; and...

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How to describe really small chances

Reader Aleksander B. sent me to the following chart in the Daily Mail, with the note that "the usage of area/bubble chart in combination with bar alignment is not very useful." (link) One can't argue with that statement. This chart fails the self-sufficiency test: anyone reading the chart is reading the data printed on the right column, and does not gain anything from the visual elements (thus, the visual representation...

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Is the visual serving the question?

The following chart concerns California's bullet train project. Now, look at the bubble chart at the bottom. Here it is - with all the data except the first number removed: It is impossible to know how fast the four other train systems run after I removed the numbers. The only way a reader can comprehend this chart is to read the data inside the bubbles. This chart fails the "self-sufficiency...

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Transforming the data to fit the message

A short time ago, there were reports that some theme-park goers were not happy about the latest price hike by Disney. One of these report, from the Washington Post (link), showed a chart that was intended to convey how much Disney park prices have outpaced inflation. Here is the chart: I had a lot of trouble processing this chart. The two lines are labeled "original price" and "in 2014 dollars"....

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Distorting geography to show train travels

Jan Willem Tulp visualized train travel times using distance and color as an indicator. His reasoning: When a train starts running from one station to the next station, conceptually, these two stations will temporarily be closer to each other. And that is exactly what this visualization shows: whenever a train moves to the next station — and only for as long as a train is moving — the origin station...

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Made in France stereotypes

Kaiser Fung (JunkCharts, Principal Analytics Prep) shows how to use the Trifecta Checkup to identify weaknesses in data visualization, and also how to conceptualize good charts using the same framework. He uses an example inspired by a Made in France poster.

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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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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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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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Several problems with stacked bar charts, as demonstrated by a Delta chart designer

In the Trifecta Checkup (link), I like to see the Question and the Visual work well together. Sometimes, you have a nice message but you just pick the wrong Visual. An example is the following stacked column chart, used in an investor presentation by Delta. From what I can tell, the five types of aircraft are divided into RJ (regional jet) and others (perhaps, larger jets). With each of those...

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