Graphic Design (bad) Archive:

Some of the data points here are interesting, but I think it throws together too many different data types. Mass fatalities count as “Human Gatherings”?!? The colors are beyond drab, and the spiral just adds to the confusion. In summary: Ick.

image

There are a lot of these graphs out there. What I like about this presentation from the WSJ is that each dot in each bar can be clicked on for a short biography of the person who died – a nice combination of information and gravitas.

image

CNN’s tool maps out where they came from and where they died, and provides an area for others to leave memories for each fallen. While information rich, this one felt very sterile to me, and I couldn’t find anyone that had the “memories” section filled in.

image

The NYT’s went strangely artsy, with a digitized mosaic menu of the fallen’s faces:

image

The Washington Post’s Faces of the Fallen feature does a good job of presenting summary information, as well as photos of each soldier:

image

And the Huffington post comes up with the least interactive, self-identified as interactive (ALL CAPS IN THE TITLE!!!), series of charts I’ve even seen. Pretty sad.

image

Using one of the more sexist charts in recent memory, the dating site whatsyourprice.com attempts to explain that the Ashton Kutcher/Demi Moore breakup is perfectly understandable. While this at first glance this resembles some of the quality revealed preference work done over at OkCupid, the selection bias here is quite large – along with a number of other flaws (as Adam Weinstein points out over at MotherJones).

image

I nominate this infographic for the “Most Confusing Scales” award, 2011. image

The only thing good about this infographic is the title. Massive dot pie chart? Ick. Color selection? Ick ick. And since you have to read the text and numbers for any kind of comprehension to take place, why bother with the pies at all? Man, I’m grumpy today.

image

I have no idea why this wasn’t done as a proper sankey diagram. It might as well just be a table.

image

I usually try to avoid Facebook/Twitter infographics because 1) there are too damn many of them; 2) they don’t convey much information; and 3) most of them are badly designed.  The one below manages to convey some very interesting comparative information, but I can’t help but think it could be better. Perhaps separating out each indicator so they can be compared side by side instead of constantly jumping back and forth between the two circles? Is this a good example of how graphic designers have to choose between aesthetics and ease of use? Anyone want to take a crack at a do-over?

two badly designed arc graphics comparing twitter and facebook users

Ok, this system certainly looks like a mess, but I have to admit that the chart is not as badly designed as it might first appear.

image

Roll over the timeline to see how funding, eligibility, and benefits have changed over the last 75 years. However, I think AP got the beneficiaries numbers completely wrong – the 2009 total is more like 52 million (source).

image

Correct graph:

image

I think this project has been cursed by the data visualization gods. First, take a look at the Guardian’s interactive map below. There’s no legend to explain the colors, and the popups show a picture of just one animal (which they apparently included only because they happen to have a nice picture of it). The only information conveyed here at all is in the small bubbles at the bottom  — which aren’t labeled and are presumably in percent of all marine life, but you can’t be sure because they don’t add up to 100%.

image

So I tracked down the original study, and their project map is actually worse! In addition to being quite possibly the most butt-ugly acronym ridden map I’ve ever seen, it has a bizarre infinity scrolling feature that allows you to view five earths at once.

image

image

But wait, there’s more: a huge interactive rotating globe that takes up 3/4s of the screen. See the tiny red dots on the map? – those are how you call up the related info that is squeezed into the small box on the left.  There are other critiques, but I think I’ve picked on this poor project enough.

image

All of this is a shame, of course, because it looks like a very worthwhile project that has accomplished a lot of valuable work. Here is the Guardian’s related article, and the project’s press release.

BP recently released some (badly) photoshopped PR pictures – and a group of artists decided to show them how to do it properly. I can’t stop laughing at the godzilla ones.

image

Wow. This would be my nomination for most pointless use of a radial diagram (and color) 2010 if they gave out such awards.  Hmmm. maybe I’ll start giving out those awards. (via)

image


What is Chart Porn?

An addictive collection of beautiful charts, graphs, maps, and interactive data visualization toys -- on topics from around the world.

  • Will Reinhardt: I had no idea that China was all in one timezone, that’s crazy to me. If you walk from China to Pa [...]
  • Coffey: Not to mean but the theory that Christianity is the one and only true religion is questionable. I s [...]
  • Drumwaster: Good thing we have these snapshots, otherwise I'd have to rely on NASA for such data, and what do th [...]
  • Sean Collins: I'm no economist but how does raising the minimum wage help the unemployed? They have no wages to ra [...]
  • Benjamin: There is actually a difference between items showing up in your timeline (when you like a page and F [...]