Blog Archives

Making sense of the most detailed map of gay marriages

September 23, 2016
By
Making sense of the most detailed map of gay marriages

Last week, my Columbia students discussed this nice article in the New York Times called "The Most Detailed Map of Gay Marriages in America". (link) The center of the article is this map: I asked the students to identify the problem that this dataviz is supposed to address. Someone responded that it tells us where gay married couples are found geographically. I asked her what is the answer to the…

Read more »

Depicting imbalance, straying from the standard chart

September 19, 2016
By
Depicting imbalance, straying from the standard chart

My friend Tonny M. sent me a tip to two pretty nice charts depicting the state of U.S. healthcare spending (link). The first shows U.S. as an outlier: This chart is a replica of the Lane Kenworthy chart, with some...

Read more »

Graphical inequity ruins the chart

September 9, 2016
By
Graphical inequity ruins the chart

This Economist chart has a great concept but I find it difficult to find the story: (link) I am a fan of color-coding the text as they have done here so that part is good. The journalist has this neat...

Read more »

Know your data 20: trust and distrust in our surveillance society

September 5, 2016
By

A very important article from the Times starts with the following sentence: Want to invisibly spy on 10 iPhone owners without their knowledge? Gather their every keystroke, sound, message and location? That will cost you $650,000, plus a $500,000 setup fee with an Israeli outfit called the NSO Group. In the U.S., there is a disconnect between a populace whose distrust of government is at an all-time high and the…

Read more »

Thank you Buzzfeed for noticing us humans

August 31, 2016
By

My friend John R. sent me this excellent Buzzfeed feature on music playlists. Here are some choice quotes to whet your appetite: In 2014, when Tim Cook explained Apple’s stunning $3 billion purchase of Beats by repeatedly invoking its “very rare and hard to find” team of music experts, he was talking about these guys. And their efforts since, which have pointed toward curated playlists (specifically, an industrial-scale trove of…

Read more »

Dot plots are under-valued, that’s all

August 30, 2016
By
Dot plots are under-valued, that’s all

Bar charts are over-used and over-rated. Just casually, I found this example at US News: Are you comparing bar widths? Or the printed data? Here is a dot plot:

Read more »

Lining up the dopers and their medals

August 25, 2016
By
Lining up the dopers and their medals

The Times did a great job making this graphic (this snapshot is just the top half): A lot of information is packed into a small space. It's easy to compose the story in our heads. For example, Lee Chong Wai,...

Read more »

Quote of the month

August 23, 2016
By

In a post titled "GIGO" (for those who don't like acronyms, Garbage In, Garbage Out), Andrew Gelman wrote this gem: as long as the “garbage out” gets media attention, there will always be somebody willing to supply the “garbage in.” The general drift of that post, and the previous one that led me to it, is a critique of the management consulting industry. Having worked in that industry earlier in…

Read more »

Brexit, Bremain, the world did not end so dataviz people can throw shade and color

August 22, 2016
By
Brexit, Bremain, the world did not end so dataviz people can throw shade and color

Catching a dose of Alberto Cairo the other day. He has a good post about various Brexit/Bremain maps. The story started with an editor of The Spectator, who went on twitter to make the claim that the map on the...

Read more »

GMO labeling is good science

August 18, 2016
By

A GMO labeling law has arrived in the US, albeit one that has no teeth (link). For those who don't want to click on the link, the law is passed in haste to pre-empt a more stringent Vermont law. The federal law defines GMO narrowly, businesses do not need to put word labels on packages (they can, for example, provide an 800-number), and violaters will not be punished. One of…

Read more »


Subscribe

Email:

  Subscribe