Monday I examined a chart from the BBC that in my mind needlessly added confusing visual components to what could have been a straight table. So here we take a look at some other options that could have been used to tell the same story. The first is the straight forward table approach. Here I emphasised the important number, that of those killed. I opted to de-emphasise the years and the injured in the table. Also, since the bulk of my audience is from the United States, I used the two-letter states codes.
But let us presume we want a graphic because everyone wants everything to be visual and graphic. Here are two different options. The first takes the table/graphic from the BBC and converts it into a straight stacked bar chart, again with emphasis on the dead. I consolidated the list into a single column so one need not split their reading across both the horizontal and vertical.
And then if you examine the dates, one can find an interesting component of the data. Of the top-eight shootings, all but two occurred within the last ten years. So the second version takes the graphic component of the stacked bars from the first and places them on a timeline.
For those that wonder about the additional effort needed to create three different options from one data set, I limited myself to an hour’s worth of time. A little bit of thought after examining the data set can save a lot of time when trying to design the data display.
Yesterday I opined about how simple tables can convey meaningful information without the aid of unnecessary chart elements. And while we will get back to that post, I did want to take a moment to share an older piece from the New York Times I recalled and that has been updated since Orlando.
The piece uses a table to compare the gun homicide rates for various countries and compares it to other causes of death. Being killed by a gun in the Netherlands is as likely as dying by accidental gas poisoning in the United States. It puts the absurdly high gun homicide rates in the United States in a new light.
Credit for the piece goes to Kevin Quealy and Margot Sanger-Katz.
Dickens is not my favourite, but that felt an appropriate title for today’s piece from the Washington Post on Chicago residents’ opinions on, well, Chicago. Turns out there is a notable demographic split on how residents feel about various things in the city.
Today we look at a really nice piece from the Washington Post on urban homicide. It combines big, full-width images that use interactivity to promote exploration of data. But as you can see in the screenshot below, the designers took care to highlight a few key stories. Just in case the reader does not want to take the time to explore the data set.
But the piece uses scale to provide contrast throughout the article. Because in addition to the three or four big graphics, a similarly well-thought-out and well-designed approach was taken towards smaller, inline supplemental graphics. Here is an example about the homicide rate for New York.
What I really enjoy about these small graphics is the attention paid to highlighting New York against the background averages provided for context. Note how the orange line for the city breaks the grey lines. It is a very nice detail.
Overall, this is a really strong piece marrying written content and data visualisation.
It’s Friday, everybody, so let’s lighten the mood with cruel and unusual punishment.
Don’t worry, it’s not as bad as it sounds. No, today we look at a simple two-axis plot or matrix used by Jon Stewart to classify means of death and whether or not they would unconstitutional based on the cruel and unusual clause.
Credit for the piece goes to the Daily Show’s 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%.
Credit for the piece goes to the Economist Data Team.
Today’s piece comes via a colleague. It is an article about hit-and-run cycling accidents in and around Los Angeles. The data visualisation in the article is not entirely complex—we are talking only about line charts and bar charts—but they support the arguments and statements in the article. And in that sense they are doing their job.
Credit for the piece goes to Armand Emamdjomeh, Laura J. Nelson, and Joseph Serna.
Sometimes complaints about excessive police force are frivolous or vindictive in nature. Sometimes, however, they are legitimate. In New York, the Civilian Complaint Review Board is the first line of investigation. It makes recommendations that the NYPD then takes up. Or not. This piece from WNYC looks at how the NYPD has responded to those recommendations.
In total, the piece is a guided story. Each step morphs the data into a new display. Overall a small, but quite nice piece.
Credit for the piece goes to the WNYC graphics department.
America loves its gun. The big draw of this piece from the Washington Post is the illustration of the guns used in the mass shootings and whether each was legally or illegally acquired. But more interesting from a data visualisation standpoint are the charts below. They show the numbers of killers, victims, and then the demographics of the killers.
Credit for the piece goes to Alberto Cuadra, Richard Johnson, Todd Lindeman, Ted Mellnik, and Kennedy Elliott