Adding to the problems, the survey of 1063 vehicles was for a single half-hour period on one day, and 50% of the half-hour period was before the start of official darkness (though they say visibility was low enough to make headlights necessary).
Posts filed under Graphics (120)
From the University of San Francisco. The winners were all interactive maps, showing, respectively: pollution, population change, and child mortality.
Keith Ng’s budget visualisation now has today’s newly-released Government budget.
(update) There’s also one at Stuff, by Harkanwal Singh (note that it uses nominal, not inflation-adjusted amounts)
The NZ stock exchange front page:
They know what their visitors are looking for, and they make it easy to find. (via @lyndonhood)
The information content in this video (7m38s) from PBS’ Off Book series is on the low side but its still an interesting watch, if only for a large collection of graphic designers’ appealing but appalling infographics.
As you know, the petition for a referendum over asset sales has not reached its goal yet, due to lots of invalid signatures. This is not a new problem — the petition over the anti-smacking law initially had 17% invalid signatures and also fell short of its threshold on the first round — but it does seem to be worse than usual.
3News displayed this graph of the shortfall
It seemed to me that the 16,500 bar was a bit wider that I’d expect, so I checked on the video from the website. On my screen capture, which I think is what you get if you click on the image, the black bar has 872 signatures per pixel, the blue bar has 1018 signatures per pixel, the whole red bar has 535 signatures per pixel, and the 16500 shortfall has 232 signatures per pixel. That is, the vertical scale for the shortfall is about four times that for the valid signatures.
I’m really not accusing 3News of deliberately distorting the numbers — it looks to me as if the shortfall bar has been made the right height to contain its text, that the blue+red bars height is scaled to the available screen estate, and that the black bar is scaled to the total blue+red height . But it’s a pity that the result is to amplify the visual size of the shortfall — and if the visual size weren’t important the graph would be a complete waste of time.
Scaled in proportion, the bars look like this
StatsChat spends a lot of time criticizing bad graphs. Here’s a simple but good graph, from the Calculated Risk blog
The graph shows employment during US recessions, aligned at the point of maximum job loss. It clearly demonstrates that the current Great Recession is very different from all the other post-WWII recessions, both in depth and in duration.
It would be easy to quibble with some design choices in the graph, but it fulfills the basic requirements admirably: the real difference is visually dramatic, and it wouldn’t be visually dramatic if it weren’t real.
As I’ve commented before, it’s hard to find examples of the drafting and redrafting process for graphics, which is just as necessary as it is for text.
A post at Harvard Business Review describes the process, in the setting of a large non-profit organisation, with this as the result
The `pie’ in pie-chart is a metaphor — the charts are divided into slices in the way that certain kinds of pie are, and the slices add up to the whole pie.
Or, at least, that’s usually the idea. One of StatChats’s foreign correspondents sent in this effort from the BBC
This kind of pie doesn’t get divided into slices — it would just fall apart. And in this graph the slices don’t add up to anything meaningful — for those of you not up on the British sports scene: there are actually more than ten football clubs. In the graphic we have Premier League teams such as Arsenal and Manchester City mixed in with Albion Rovers and Brechin City from the Scottish 2nd division.
The pie price pie exemplifies a general rule, if you have to write all the data values on your graph, the graph isn’t doing its share of the work.