13 facts you didn’t know about the Minard map

Source: Wikipedia. The map representing the Russian campaign of the French army in 1812 is a true celebrity of the data visualization world, mostly known for its spectacular features. Lines show the number, location and direction of the army troops. The temperature during the return from Moscow is shown at the bottom. The campaign was a carnage […]

Concentric Circles on a Map, version 3

After my attempt at improving the concentric circles, Stephen Few was kind enough to provide more feedback: he still doesn’t like them. Your experiments with concentric circles are interesting and it’s clear that you’re having fun exploring this, but the new version doesn’t seem to work any better than the first, even though you’ve eliminated […]

Concentric Circles on a Map, version 2.0

In response to Stephen Few’s challenge to do better than his bricks to display quantities on a map, I proposed the concentric circles. He shot down version 1.0: Thanks for exploring the possibilities of concentric circles. Unfortunately, as you’ve seen, when there are more than three or four concentric circles, we cannot perceive the quantities […]

Concentric Circles on a Map

Stephen Few introduced “bricks” a few days ago as a new way to display quantities on a map. Using circles is tricky because humans are not skilled at distinguishing areas. Few suggests that we can distinguish the shape of the bricks arrangement and hence count them more easily (“preattentively”). The problem arises when bricks overlap, […]

Diving with a view

Part II of my observations from the World Bank Data Dive on poverty and corruption. It might start with the data, but for me the fun is in the analysis, especially visual. I had in fact joined the group fighting corruption because they seemed the most likely to need data exploration and visualization. Below is […]

It starts with the data

What good can data do? The World Bank and DataKind set out to further explore this question during the Data Dive held March 16 and 17 in Washington DC (#data4good). People  who rarely work together — coders, quants, data visualizers, procurement experts, economists, lawyers, students, senior managers, open data evangelists — ended up at the […]

Oh my, here I go defending pie charts

Jorge Cameos blogs about pie charts over at ExcelCharts.com. He doesn’t like them. Indeed, pie charts do not get much love in the data visualization community, as popular as they are outside of it. I’m fascinated by this discrepancy, trying to understand if it yields from ignorance, naivete, instinct, snobbery, expertise, science, else or all […]

Is this one of the most underrated graphs of all time?

If you have children, you have probably seen this graph. But have you noticed how good it is? The doctor was showing me my daughter’s progress but I was thinking “What great graphs!” They compare height and weight on a single page. They are trapezoids to make the best use of space. There is a […]

Interview: Alberto Cairo on MOOCs, the future of education and infographics

Alberto Cairo It’s been a busy year for Alberto Cairo. In January, he started teaching information graphics and visualization at the School of Communication of the University of Miami; in August he published The Functional Art; and, from October to December, he gave his first massive open online course (MOOC) as a teacher. Having been […]