Graph masters Mekko put out a slide the other day that shows the most recent work experience of every US President, divided neatly into 5 categories. It’s interesting to look at, but I couldn’t shake the feeling that it could be improved.
Specifically, it was the color that bothered me. I wondered if the hodge-podge of colors might even detract from the visualization, as it seems to have themes (blues, greens, etc…) that don’t actually signify anything. Furthermore, US politics have a well established color-code, wouldn’t that make this chart more informative?
Thankfully Mekko left the slide downloadable and editable, so it took just a few minutes and hey-presto, party affiliation is baked right in! I went with the standard Democrats in blue and Republicans in red, made Whigs a dark slate, Democratic-Republicans purple, and left the relatively speaking non-affliated Washington and Adams white and grey, respectively.
So, dear graph enthusiast: have I improved the chart, or added an unnecessary detail? Does reinforcing the political divide take away from the intended message? Are there any other enhancements that come to mind?
This winner of this month’s award for “Unexpected Achievement in the World of Graphs” is Sean Taylor of the Facebook Data Science Team. Rather than describe what has been done, I’ll just leave a link here and say it’s Super Bowl related. It’s better explained by Sean anyway.
We here at GraphGraph appreciate a good graph, but what is getting our spreadsheets all in a pivot right now is dreaming of the amount of data that the good folks* at Facebook have at their disposal.
I have one problem with their presentation, and that would be the use of grey as a color. I understand that with 32 teams, there are only so many color options, and I can’t at this moment say how I would have done it differently. Nevertheless, to my eye, grey always looks like it represents “neutral” or “no data available,” not “Patriots or Colts or maybe even Cowboys.” Oh well.
There is a series of maps that shows the support for each remaining team as this year’s postseason progressed. I immediately wished there was an animated version, so I created a gif for your internetting consumption. Enjoy.
I’d like to see this map redone with the map weighted by population, like they do around election time. I also wouldn’t mind seeing this for other sports, like baseball and basketball and curling. Finally, I would be remiss not to mention two things:
1) Sean, Corey, and I all share the same alma mater.
2) Go Ravens.
*I sincerely hope that they are good, given all of the embarrassing pictures they have of young graph enthusiasts.
Facebook has a great post up from their Data team about relationships between people, and more specifically concluding that the majority of Facebook users are only four degrees of separation away from anyone else on the social networking site.
From the article:
We found that six degrees actually overstates the number of links between typical pairs of users: While 99.6% of all pairs of users are connected by paths with 5 degrees (6 hops), 92% are connected by only four degrees (5 hops). And as Facebook has grown over the years, representing an ever larger fraction of the global population, it has become steadily more connected. The average distance in 2008 was 5.28 hops, while now it is 4.74.
Very fascinating findings! Read the full article for more information and some additional charts that tie everything together. And while you’re there, how about you go ahead and “Like” us on Facebook? Awesome! Thanks.