There’s are a lot of nonsense charts and projections in Paul Ryan’s new House Republican budget, but rather than get into political arguments, I’ll just post the ones I thought were actually insightful:
A recent study compared the cost of procedures across different countries. It’s interesting to me that some people think our “free market” medical system is the best, without realizing that health care services here in no way resemble a market. The related article runs through a number of ways our system is dysfunctional.
A wonderful post over at The Big Picture that takes both liberals and conservatives to the wood shed over their abuse of economic indicators and charts that show correlation but not causation.
Note: The comments over there are worth a read as well.
Updated for January: one of my favorite economic dashboards. It highlights major macro indicators, what direction they are trending, what the typical ranges are, and lets you drill down to explanations of why you should care. In other words, it’s a very sleek example of how to graph snapshot data while still providing valuable context.
A treemap of the jobs that the 1% are doing – showing a lot of variety. I wish there was more detail about the dataset source. The related article provides some anecdotal examples.
Enter your household income and see where you rank in 344 areas around the country:
There’s some interesting behind the scenes information on the news paper version here:
Here’s an example of how more isn’t always better. Compare the interactive presentation of retail sales data below to the static version – both from the Wall Street Journal. In my opinion the static version presents the information in a much clearer and usable format. The only thing it’s missing is a chart for “total retail sales”. Regarding the interactive version, I’ve never liked stacked bar charts over time unless they illustrate very clear trends – with this many similar segments I think they are pretty silly (though the ability to drill down does alleviate this a smidgeon). (related article)
Updated for November: one of my favorite economic dashboards. It highlights major macro indicators, what direction they are trending, and what the typical ranges are. It also lets you drill down to explanations of why you should care, and historical values.
XKCD pulls together a number of interesting statistics and presents them all as square blocks, varying the magnitude in each section. I’m not sure how much value this has as a graphic – the comparative value of the different groups isn’t very high in most cases. However, the statistics themselves are really interesting and worth browsing.
(note: the graphic’s viewer took a while to load – probably because of server load, which should quiet down later)
A visually interesting video from the BBC. It does a good job of presenting basic facts, with a little annotation. The difficulty with these videographics, I find, is striking the right balance between being simple enough to understand easily, but complicated enough that they actually make a point. In the BBC’s favor, they appear to be using this as an introduction to issues, and link it back to their broader coverage of the global economy and crisis, including their video series “Make it Clear”, which answers basic questions like “How Can Countries Go Bust?” and “What is the IMF?”.
An addictive collection of beautiful charts, graphs, maps, and interactive data visualization toys -- on topics from around the world.