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Some Examples of Nice Charts

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Example 1.    The first example is a favorite of mine.
We all know that not everyone gives an honest answer to a sensitive question. In this chart we see it happening. People were asked how much they spent on things that aren't that good for their health. They have a tendency to underestimate these spendings. And that becomes visible when Statistics Netherlands combines the answers from consumers with sales data from producers.

bar chart of pinocchio    Source: NRC Handelsblad, 6 June 1994.

The bar chart is straightforward. But it gets some pizzaz, just right to get the message across, by the pictures on the left (the story of Pinocchio and his nose needs no explanation).

Example 2.   This is an example of a chart with a very low data-ink ratio (only two numbers are displayed) but a very high drama-ink ratio. That makes this graph a success. We all know the saying that a picture is worth a thousand words. This picture shows its worth and tells its story in a clear and vivid way.

adm versus intel
This picture is in my archive of interesting graphs. Its original source is lost. 

Example 3. The following example originates from an article in the Dutch Newspaper NRC Handelsblad from 7 June 2012. The simple pie charts together give a quite detailed picture of the population distribution on Cuba. The main color is orange (urban population is dominant) but you can see the differences between the various regions. We can get a quick estimate of the percentage of the rural population per region, because we know that one quarter pie is 25% and halve a pie is 50%.
The size of each circle corresponds to the size of the population of that province. Together with the size indication on the right that gives us another aspect of the population distribution.

population distributoin of cuba

The original source of the data is table 1.5 in the publication Anuario Demográfico de CUBA 2010 from the oficina nacional de estadisticas cuba (pdf 769 KB, links checked 10 June 2012).

Example 4.

Sometimes a 3D chart is appropriate because the data it shows really is three dimensional, like in the picture below. If you know a little about the topography of the Netherlands you will recognize the various cities. As an example we have indicated Arnhem, the home town of Arnhem Business School.

Netherlands in 3D
This picture is in my archive of interesting graphs. Its original source is lost. 

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Last modified 30-10-2012

© Jos Seegers, 2009; English version by Gé Groenewegen.