Tag Archives: charting

T-shirt Sizes

It’s Monday, folks. And for most of us that means going back to work. Which means dressing appropriately. And that’s about as far as I’ve got introducing this subject matter, because I wear a dress shirt and tie everyday. Not a t-shirt. But we’re talking t-shirts. Specifically their sizing.

Threadbase is a New York startup looking to do some cool things with data about t-shirts. But that requires having data with which to play. And they are starting to do just that. Their opening blog post has quite a few data visualisations.

Comparing actual sizes via a dot plot

Comparing actual sizes via a dot plot

The dot plot above charts the sizes by dimension for various brands and makes. I might quibble with the particular colours as the red and purple are a bit on the difficult side to distinguish. Symbols could be away around the issue. But the only real issue is that on my monitors the full image runs long and I lose the reference point of the actual dimensions in inches.

But the piece is worth the read for the cyclical changes in dimensions.

Mostly it’s just a pity that I’m not a jeans and t-shirt sort of guy.

Credit for the piece goes to Threadbase.

Married Men

Sorry for not writing the last few weeks, but I was on a much needed holiday. But I’m back now. And first things first, one of my good mates got engaged whilst I was back in Philadelphia. And so in honour of that we have today’s piece.

Married men

Married men

As the graphic might hint, it’s about marriage. The piece dates from September of last year—2015 and I think I will have to get used to that for a few weeks—and looks at the demographics of marriage mostly in the United States. The chart above in particular looks at men that are married at every age by year, i.e. how many men aged 30 were married in 1960 versus 2013.

Credit for the piece goes to Mona Chalabi.

Trump’s Poll Ratings

The news this morning carried the latest polling data out of Iowa for the Republicans. And in that state, Ted Cruz now polls above Donald Trump. And so I wanted to share this post from the Economist last week that looks at how Trump rises every time he says something ridiculous. Could it just be that we should expect even more ridiculous this week?

Trump rises the lower he goes

Trump rises the lower he goes

Credit for the piece goes to the Economist’s Data Team.

Syria’s Refugees

We go from one crisis to another, as we go back to Syria. This piece from Bloomberg is very nicely designed and is almost entirely in black and white. We often think that because computer, everything needs to be in a rainbow of shiny, shiny colours. But here we have places where the designers smartly used patterns and smart labelling to avoid the need for colour.

A fantastic black and white map

A fantastic black and white map

Credit for the piece goes to Cindy Hoffman, Dave Merrill, Chris Nosenzo, Mira Rojanasakul, and Blacki Migliozzi.

Climate Change in Charts

So yesterday we reimagined a less-than-stellar BBC chart. Today, we look at a good chart from the BBC about climate change, timed to coincide with the start of the Paris climate talks. This comes from an article with six charts related to climate change, but it is the best in my mind.

The trend…not so good.

The trend…not so good.

Nothing but nice design here with the use of colour to highlight the top ten hottest and coldest years over the last 225+ years. But it really comes alive when animated and tells the story how those coldest years occurred at the beginning of the set and the hottest are among the most recent years.

Credit for the piece goes to Emily Maguire,  Tom Nurse, Steven Connor, and Punit Shah.

Redesigning the Turkish Election Results

Turkey held its elections over the weekend. And so on the way to work this morning I decided to check the results on the BBC. And I saw this graphic—screenshot from my phone.

The BBC results

The BBC results

So I decided to scrap today’s blog post and instead spend all of five minutes tweaking this to make it a bit clearer. Or, a lot clearer. Simple little tweaks can make all the difference in data clarity. Now you can visually see the scale of difference in the votes. You also don’t need to refer to a legend off to the side with tints of the same colour.

My results with their data

My results with their data

Credit for the original piece goes to the BBC graphics department.

The Canadian Elections

Canada held an election yesterday. For your briefing on it, John Oliver did a great job on Last Week Tonight. But for the serious coverage, we have results.

Here we have the results coverage by the National Post. It’s your standard choropleth coloured by the victor in each riding, or constituency. From a design side, I find the pattern fill interesting and not something I have seen done before for a political map.

I just chose a place I had visited in Canada

I just chose a place I had visited in Canada

But I really like what the CBC did. They built an interactive application to cover the evening’s results as they arrived. This screenshot is for the riding in Fredericton, where my ancestors lived in the 19th century. (I had to have a connection to the ridings somehow.) In particular, I liked the ability to star ridings of interest and have them immediately retrievable. The CBC complemented that with a list of ridings to watch. It was a great resource for the evening.

Fredericton results

Fredericton results

But then they also covered the results with an article with interactive graphics. This is more your standard fare with choropleths, bar charts, and line charts. But they flow through the article quite sensibly. Overall, a solid results piece.

Party results per region

Party results per region

Credit for the National Post piece goes to the National Post graphics department.

Credit for the CBC piece goes to the the CBC graphics department.

Spicing It Up (Or Not If You Like Caraway)

Here is a post for all you cooks and bakers out there: spices. Over the weekend I came upon a piece FiveThirtyEight ran earlier this year about American spice consumption. They use spice availability as a proxy for consumption, because no such data exists—and unfortunately the standard for reporting changed in 2012 so data is only available until then. But the piece uses some nice small multiples and a combined line chart to show some changes. Of note is the decision not to include ginger in the first, most likely because its scale would distort the rest of the chart. Anyway, if you are hungry, probably a good idea not to check this out.

How some spices have changed

How some spices have changed

Credit for the piece goes to the FiveThirtyEight graphics department.

The Second Republican Debate

11 candidates. 9 authors. (That would be the sub-title if my blog had sub-titles.)

I do not have cable and so watching the debate live was not an option. Instead, I rely upon post-debate coverage to understand who said what and to whom. Usually that means an article with some video clips. But this piece from the Washington Post looks at the debate by the numbers.

The Wheel of Trump

The Wheel of Trump

What is worth pointing out is not Trump’s hair, but the credit list below. That is nine people who had to contribute to one article, which relies both on reporting and data, on text and images, and none of it is interactive. That list is not all reporters, you have a mixture of reporters, designers, and illustrators working together to produce some quality content. And while the piece was planned—how could it not have been—it still went live within probably hours of the debate as its publish date was the same date as the debate. Sometimes people think that smart, clear graphics are simple and easy to produce. Well, not always. 

The graphic itself has two nice features worth mentioning specifically. One, the use of HTML text in the graphic. That makes the text searchable and more importantly rendered by the browser on the page instead of relying upon image export quality. The second is that this piece relies on two colours: black and red. Tints of both allow the entirety of the story to be told. Each candidate is represented by the same red without need for ROYGBIV+.

Credit for the piece goes to Bonnie Berkowitz, Kat Downs, Samuel Granados, Richard Johnson, Ted Mellnik, Katie Park, Kevin Schaul, Shelly Tan, and Kevin Uhrmacher.

David Ortiz Has 500 Home Runs

This past weekend, David Ortiz hit his 500th home run, a significant milestone in Major League Baseball attained only by a handful of players. This piece from the Boston Herald commemorates the feat—with too many photographs and embellishment for my liking—by putting his season totals on a timeline while putting Ortiz at the bottom of the 500+ home run club.

The timeline of the home runs

The timeline of the home runs

The following piece dates from April 2015 and was about the impact of defensive shifting on Ortiz, but it has a nice graphic on his home run output. It’s just outdated by most of this season. But, from a data viusalisation standpoint, I find it a far more useful and telling graphic.

A look at Ortiz's home runs

A look at Ortiz’s home runs

Credit for the Boston Herald piece goes to Jon Couture.

Credit for the Boston Globe piece goes to the Boston Globe graphics department.