Web/Tech

110 posts
What does Elon Musk do every day?

The Wall Street Journal published a fun little piece about tweets by Elon Musk (link). Here is an overview of every tweet he sent since he started using Twitter more than a decade ago. Apparently, he sent at least one tweet almost every day for the last four years. In addition, his tweets appear at all hours of the day. (Presumably, he is not the only one tweeting from his...

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Dots, lines, and 2D histograms

Daniel Z. tweeted about my post from last week. In particular, he took a deeper look at the chart of energy demand that put all hourly data onto the same plot, originally published at the StackOverflow blog: I noted that this is not a great chart particularly since what catches our eyes are not the key features of the underlying data. Daniel made a clearly better chart: This is a...

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Multicultural, multicolor, manufactured outrage

Twitter users were incensed by this chart: It's being slammed as one of the most outrageous charts ever. *** An image search reveals this chart form has international appeal. In Kazakh: In Turkish: In Arabic, but the image source is a Spanish company: In English, from an Indian source: In Russian: *** Some people are calling this a pie chart. But it isn't a pie chart since the slices clearly...

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The what of visualization, beyond the how

A long-time reader sent me the following chart from a Nature article, pointing out that it is rather worthless. The simple bar chart plots the number of downloads, organized by country, from the website called Sci-Hub, which I've just learned is where one can download scientific articles for free - working around the exorbitant paywalls of scientific journals. The bar chart is a good example of a Type D chart...

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Improving simple bar charts

Here's another bar chart I came across recently. The chart - apparently published by Kaggle - appeared to present challenges data scientists face in industry: This chart is pretty standard, and inoffensive. But we can still make it better. Version 1 I removed the decimals from the data labels. Version 2 Since every bar is labelled, is anyone looking at the axis labels? Version 3 You love axis labels. Then,...

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There’s more to the composite rating chart

In my previous post, I sketched a set of charts to illustrate composite ratings of maps platforms (e.g. Google Maps, TomTom). Here is the sketch again: For those readers who are interested in understanding these ratings beyond the obvious, this set of charts has more to offer. Take a look first at the two charts on the left hand side. Compare the patterns of dots between the two charts. You...

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Visualizing composite ratings

A twitter reader submitted the following chart from Autoevolution (link): This is not a successful chart for the simple reason that readers want to look away from it. It's too busy. There is so much going on that one doesn't know where to look. The underlying dataset is quite common in the marketing world. Through surveys, people are asked to rate some product along a number of dimensions (here, seven)....

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Speaking to the choir

A friend found the following chart about the "carbon cycle", and sent me an exasperated note, having given up on figuring it out. The chart came from a report, and was reprinted in Ars Technica (link). The problem with the chart is that the designer is speaking to the choir. One must know a lot about the carbon cycle already to make sense of everything that's going on. We see...

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And you thought that pie chart was bad…

Vying for some of the worst charts of the year, Adobe came up with a few gems in its Digital Trends Survey. This was a tip from Nolan H. on Twitter. There are many charts that should be featured; I'll focus on this one. This is one of those survey questions that allow each respondent to select multiple responses so that adding up the percentages exceeds 100%. The survey asks...

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Re-engineering #onelesspie

Marco tweeted the following pie chart to me (tip from Danilo), which is perfect since today is Pi Day, and I have to do my #onelesspie duty. This started a few years ago with Xan Gregg. This chart supposedly was published in an engineering journal. I don't have a clue what the question might be that this chart is purportedly answering. Maybe the reason for picking a cellphone? The particular...

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