Gauges aren’t very popular in visualization, but they have some interesting properties. There is, of course, the infamous NY Times “election needle,” but you’re probably using gauges every day without giving them too much thought. There’s also an interesting connection with circular bar charts, which I think can work well when used as part-to-whole charts. I talk about all of this in my new video.[Read more…] about New video: Gauges for Data Visualization, The NY Times Election Needle, and Circular Bar Charts
I gave a talk at the Outlier conference earlier this year, with the somewhat elaborate title, The Joys – and Dangers – of Bespoke and Unusual Chart Types. Though I eventually decided to go with the much shorter, This Should Have Been A Bar Chart! You can watch it on YouTube now.[Read more…] about Watch My Outlier Talk: This Should Have Been A Bar Chart!
Encodings play a central role in visualization, but I believe our thinking about them is too simplistic. In a new paper, I argue that we need to distinguish between the encodings that specify how a visualization is drawn and the ones that are readable or actually read by an observer. While they largely or entirely overlap in some charts (like bar charts or scatterplots) they don’t in others (pie charts, line charts, etc.). And what exactly do you even specify in more complex visualizations like treemaps?[Read more…] about Paper: More Than Meets the Eye: A Closer Look at Encodings in Visualization
A bar chart with a distorted vertical axis isn’t very unusual. But what if that chart was posted by the White House and what if it was done on purpose – not to overstate the number shown, but rather to evoke a particular kind of response?[Read more…] about The (Possible) Stratagem Behind the Biden Bar
An opinion piece in the New York Times last week got a lot of attention in visualization circles for its use of a spiral chart as its opener. While the choice of chart and color scheme can be debated, I want to discuss the fact that the spiral is disconcertingly off-center.[Read more…] about The NY Times COVID Spiral Is Off-Center
The common explanation for how pie charts work is that we read them by angle. That of course would mean that donut charts would be bad, because you can’t see the angle when you take away the center of the pie. Changing the radius of a slice wouldn’t matter though, because that doesn’t change the angle. But there is no evidence that angle is how we read pie charts, quite the opposite actually. In this new video, I walk through five reasons why angle is not how we read pies, and what that means for other things we like to assume about them.[Read more…] about New Video: The Science of Pie Charts
Who are the people who use data and visualization as part of their work every day? In particular, how do people use data as part of meetings, to present to others, to discuss their findings and recommendations, etc.? My colleague Matt Brehmer and I ran a pair of studies to find out.[Read more…] about Paper: From Jam Session to Recital: Synchronous Communication and Collaboration Around Data in Organizations
EagerEyes is 15 years old today! Rather than look back at 15 years of visualization and blogging (though I will do a little of that too), I want to reflect a bit on what blogging means today and where things are going.[Read more…] about EagerEyes Turns 15
Can you put ranked data into a pie chart that also represents time? This chart tries, and I think it succeeds.[Read more…] about Can A Timeline Pie Chart Work?
How do you make people not just see numbers when looking at a chart, but feel something? This chart of the number of deaths during the Iraq war has always given me a visceral response like no other, and it’s still as powerful as when it was made almost ten years ago. So I made a chart appreciation video to explain what I think is so great about it.[Read more…] about New video: Chart Appreciation, Iraq’s Bloody Toll by Simon Scarr