Choropleths are not always a good idea. For example, look at election maps. Highly populated but geographically small cities appear as mere drops of ink on paper or pixels on a screen. Meanwhile, vast deserts appear gigantic empires. Nothing new there. But even within cities, these issues exist. London is one such city and one design studio has been working on a means of changing that. London Squared Map converts the boroughs of London into almost all squares of equal area. Each is placed in the appropriate space to represent geographic location. But to convey actual geography and familiarise the audience, not all squares are equal. Instead, just like the city itself, the squares are divided by a simplified shape of the Thames.
Ukraine continues to suffer the effects of a Russian invasion. Though we won’t call it that. This piece from Radio Free Europe looks at the displaced persons in the country. Unfortunately, it is not quite the best example of what to do.
Displacement in Ukraine
The line chart looks at the cumulative number of displaced persons. But, a monthly growth or absolute number for that month would tell a different story. See below. Hint, it slowed down, and then got pretty bad again.
Monthly population change
I am also not a fan of labelling every data point on the map. Maybe call out a few interesting ones, the outliers perhaps. But do we need to know to the person how many people are in Ternopil. Probably not.
Credit for the piece goes to the graphics department of Radio Free Europe.
Today is Friday. And that means it is time for the seriousness. So here you go, folks. Goats. All the goats. The US Agricultural Census recorded all the goats as of 2012. And so people can map that out. Thankfully the Washington Post did it for me.
Note the exclamation point
Credit for the piece goes to the Washington Post graphics department.
Last week’s terror attacks in Paris highlight the tension in Europe between secular Europe and those believing in Islamist values. The Economist looked at some of the available data and noted the gap between Europe’s perception of Islam and its reality. A quick figure called out for France, French respondents thought 31% of the French population to be Muslim. The reality is a mere 8%.
Perception vs reality
Credit for the piece goes to the Economist Data Team.
Today’s post looks at peak income for the middle class. The Washington Post looked at peak median household income for each county in the United States. And for 81% of counties, that peak was over 15 years ago.
The really nice features of this piece are not actually the map, which is a standard choropleth map. Instead small multiples above the map breakdown the appearance of counties in each era bracket. And then to the right the user can compare a selected county against both the state and the United States. Overall, a very nice piece.
Credit for the piece Darla Cameron and Ted Mellnik.
To continue with the sports theme from yesterday, today we have an interactive map from Twitter that looks at NFL team popularity. The methodology is simple, where are the users following the various football teams and map that out by county. The overall blog post features a country-wide map, but then narrows down into a few particular stories. The image below is from the divide in the state of Pennsylvania between Eagles fans and Steelers fans.
Philly vs. Pittsburgh
Credit for the piece goes to Simon Rogers and Krist Wongsuphasawat.
A couple of weeks ago I shared a map from the New York Times that looked at American college football programme loyalty. And I quipped that none of it made sense to me as someone born and raised in the Northeast. The New York Times followed that piece up with another that looks solely at Facebook likes of college football via likes for any team. Not surprisingly the sport does not do too well in the Northeast. But it does appear quite popular in other regions of the country.
Chester County is not big on it…
Credit for the piece goes to Neil Irwin and Kevin Quealy.
The United States and its allies are slowly beginning to pull out of Afghanistan. While several thousand troops will remain, the total will be nowhere near the peak figure a few years ago. This graphic from the Washington Post details just how this transition has been occurring.
Yesterday marked the 25th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall. But with the reunification of Germany a year later, has the former East Germany been able to catch up to what was West Germany? The Economist looks at the results in this graphic and the answer is yes. And no.
East vs. West. 1989 vs. 2013.
Credit for the piece goes to the Economist’s graphics department.