Posts Tagged ‘Line chart’

Have data graphics progressed in the last century?

01 Mar

Received a wonderful link via reader Lonnie P. to this website that presents a historical reconstruction of W.E.B. DuBois's exhibit of the "American negro" at the 1900 Paris Expo. Amusingly, DuBois presented a large series of data graphics to educate the world on the state (plight) of blacks in America over a century ago.

You can really spend a whole afternoon examining these charts (and more); too bad the charts have poor resolution and it is often hard to make out the details.


Judging from this evidence, we must face up to the fact that data graphics have made little progress during these eleven decades. Ideas, good or bad, get reinvented. Disappointingly, we haven't learned from the worst ones.

Exhibit A 


(see discussion here)

Exhibit B


 (see discussion here)

Exhibit C 


(See discussion here.)

Exhibit D

 (see the Vampire chart here)

Exhibit E

(see the discussion here.)

Exhibit F

(see discussion here.)


Off-sheet accounting

20 Aug

For mid-week entertainment, this full-page ad appeared in the Wall Street Journal recently:


The vertical axis says "% NYSE of All Market Share Volume".  The time-line is from July 05 to beyond July 08.  The text in the black box is "Matched Market Share: July 11, 2008".

When it's so obvious, it's probably not obvious.  The big story is off the chart: what happened to the other 50% of the volume over the years?

Faced with this, one reaches for the pie chart (... almost).

Small add (8/21/2008):


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