Chart of the Week: Gun Regulation by State

The UK Guardian news­pa­per recently pub­lished an inter­ac­tive ring dia­gram show­ing gun reg­u­la­tion by US states. It’s an attrac­tive dia­gram but makes so many ele­men­tary mis­takes in chart­ing that it fails to sum­ma­rize the data in a mean­ing­ful way. Analy­sis: If the graph makes a sin­gle point, it’s that all states reg­u­late whether a weapon […]


Chart of the week: Population Pyramids, Vases and Wedges

Pop­u­la­tion pyra­mids show pop­u­la­tion data by gen­der and age group. They are effec­tive in show­ing changes over time. This chart of Japan demo­graph­ics through 2050 appeared in The Econ­o­mist: This shows three pyra­mids: Male on left, right hand side females from 1950, 2005, and 2050. (2050 is pro­jec­tion based on cur­rent trends). From 1950 to […]


Featured Chart: Tokyo Metro Train Departures by Week

Info­graphic at Ginza Sta­tion, Tokyo on the Hibya Line. Left hand side shows week­day depar­tures by hour (5am through 12 mid­night) by minute. Right hand side shows Sat­ur­day and Hol­i­day depar­tures. It’s an effec­tive graphic that also shows that week­days have more fre­quent ser­vice, espe­cially in the morn­ings between 8-​9am, and it tapers off after […]


Grasping data through physical models

Is it eas­ier to glean insights from data using a phys­i­cal model? Most of the advances in tech­nol­ogy (data visu­al­iza­tion, chart­ing, inter­ac­tive graph­ics) have made it much eas­ier to get insights using on-​screen imag­ing. By and large they have replaced phys­i­cal con­struc­tion and draw­ing of charts with rulers, com­passes, and inks. But what if we […]


Using Flow Maps to show derivative products

Flow maps show branches of data which form part of a whole and are often used to show deriv­a­tive prod­ucts made from a sin­gle source. These were quite pop­u­lar in the early 20th Cen­tury to show ship­ping traf­fic from ports. In this exam­ple it shows the com­po­nents that con­tribute to the 3M stock price. Post-​its […]


Chart of the Week: Timeline+Segmentation+ Scatterplot

Information-​dense charts show mul­ti­ple rela­tion­ships in data in a sin­gle, chart. They take more time to read/​review, but pro­vide deeper insights. This week’s exam­ple from R.W Brun­skill’Illus­trated Hand­book of Ver­nac­u­lar Archi­tec­ture shows the evo­lu­tion of “ver­nac­u­lar archi­tec­ture”. Ver­nac­u­lar archi­tec­ture ” will have been designed by an ama­teur, prob­a­bly of the occu­pier of the intended building […]


your.Flowing Data: Capturing your life data

New web ser­vice: your.flowingdata enables you to cap­ture events and activ­i­ties in your life, track and visu­al­ize them. The goal is to under­stand life choices bet­ter. It’s an exper­i­men­tal project from Nathan Yao who runs the excel­lent data visu­al­iza­tion site Flow­ing Data . Per­haps there will evolve into a jour­nal sim­i­lar to My Life in […]


Chart of the Week: Visualizing Multi-​select survey questions

Visu­al­iz­ing multi-​select sur­vey ques­tions (where the respon­dents can pro­vide mul­ti­ple answers) is chal­leng­ing to sum­ma­rize since pie charts and 100% bar charts do not work well since the parts can add up to be more than 100%. In the book Pic­tur­ing the Uncer­tain World: How to Under­stand, Com­mu­ni­cate, and Con­trol Uncer­tainty through Graph­i­cal Dis­play, the […]


Book of the Week: The Periodic Table: Its Story and Significance

Orga­niz­ing the chem­i­cal ele­ments into reg­u­larly recur­ing cat­e­gories was a major step in the his­tory of chemisty. The Russ­ian chemist Mendeleev played an impor­tant role in cre­at­ing the mod­ern peri­odic table, and look­ing at how he got there pro­vides some ideas for orga­niz­ing, clas­si­fy­ing, and ana­lyz­ing large data sets. First, the ideas around peri­od­ic­ity evolved […]


Area Proportional Venn Diagrams

Venn dia­grams are great for under­stand­ing how sets inter­sect and relate to each other, but most don’t indi­cate quan­tity. So if you have a set that shows pet own­er­ship (some own dogs, some dogs and fish,etc): With a pro­por­tional Venn dia­gram, you add the dimen­sion of size or count. For exam­ple, Peo­ple who own a […]