This is an AMA (Ask Me Anything) session with Mike Bostock, a former graphics editor for the New York Times and creator of the d3.js data visualization package. I’ll be writing a few things about d3.js once I figure things out. Mike is someone worth watching, because he is working on high visibility, high impact stuff. Continue reading
This is a nice article explaining why using a rainbow (red-orange-yellow-green-blue-indigo-violet) is a bad idea. The colors produce an artefactual banding pattern, they do not follow a consistent trend from light to dark, they cause trouble for people with color blindness, and they translate poorly to black-and-white reproductions. The article also shows some nice alternatives. Thanks to @EarlGlynn for sharing this. Continue reading
Through the effort of a team of statisticians with the American Statistical Association, the New York Times is producing a new resource for educators called “What’s Going On in This Graph?”. This is similar to another New York Times effort called “What’s Going On in This Picture?”
Every month the New York Times will publish a graph stripped of some key information and ask three questions: What do you notice? What do you wonder? and What do you think is going on in this graph?
The content will be suitable for middle school and high school students, but I suspect that even college students will find the exercise interesting.
The first graph will appear on September 19 and on the second Tuesday of every month afterwards. Continue reading
Many scientists rely on bar graphs and line graphs that effectively reduce your data to a single mean per group. Even with the addition of error bars, the whole process tends to hide important information. These authors suggest that scatterplots that show every data point would be a better way to present your research data. Continue reading
This slide show includes some examples of really bad (and a few really good) graphics with some explanations of general principles for data display. Continue reading
This blog post explains that you can’t just put a graph up on a screen and immediately expect people to understand it. You need to provide critical context to help your audience. Continue reading
…when people assume that the Excel output is enough. I think of all the research papers in economics where the authors must have spent dozens of hours trying all sorts of different model specifications, dozens of hours writing and rewriting the prose of the article, . . . and 15 minutes making the graphs.” Andrew Gelman, quoted at http://andrewgelman.com/2009/04/22/more_on_data_vi/.
R has a lot of nice plotting features built in, but this add-on package adds some more, especially the ability to designate a break in one of your axes. Continue reading
Melissa Clarkson created a very nice two page PDF file that shows very clearly the sometimes subtle difference in how various line style arguments work in R. Highly recommended for any R programmer. Continue reading