Alaska Airlines

Here’s an older, March graphic from the New York Times that looks at Alaska Airlines. This exemplifies what maps do well; it maps relevant data onto a map. Perhaps that reads silly, but too often people map data just because most things are tied to a geography; things that happen in the world happen somewhere, ergo everything could be mapped.

The growth of Alaska Airlines
The growth of Alaska Airlines

In this graphic, however, mapping the tight and Alaska-focused network with tendrils sneaking off-map to distant cities. The map supports the article that tells how after decades of focusing on Alaska, the airline has begun to expand to Midwestern cities in the US, cities in Mexico, and Hawaii.

I am not terribly keen on the stacked bar chart. It highlights the steady Alaska market over the decades at the cost of showing dynamism in those Midwestern, Mexican, and Hawaiian markets.

Credit for the piece goes to the New York Times Graphics Department.

Author: Brendan Barry

I am a graphic designer who focuses on information design. My day job? I am the data visualisation manager for the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia. (This blog is my something I do on my own time and does not represent the views of the Fed, blah blah blah legal stuff.) And with my main interest in information design—be it in the shape of clear charts, maps, diagrams, or wayfinding systems—I am fortunate that my day job focuses on data visualisation. Outside of work, I try to stay busy with personal design work. Away from the world of design, I enjoy cooking and reading and am interested in various subjects from history and geography to politics to science to the arts. And I allow all of them to influence my work.

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