by Eszter Hargittai on October 4, 2003

Those who like to learn about and ponder world affairs through the graphical representation of data will enjoy these posters presented by the International Networks Archive at Princeton.



billyblue 10.05.03 at 2:12 pm

Eeek addictive. Well, there goes my Sunday . . . .


Tim Lambert 10.06.03 at 2:32 am

I hate these sort of “info” graphics. They make a pretty picture, but they do an absolutely terrible job of presenting information. For example, to show the increase in the number of Starbucks they draw cylinders with heights proportional to the number. Trouble is, the width and depth are also proportional to the number. That means that if the number of outlets doubles, the cylinders grow in volume by a factor of eight. This makes the growth look much much more dramatic than it really is.

The other graphs have similar problems. The authors should have read Darrel Huff’s “How toLie with Statistics”


Anonymous Coward 10.06.03 at 6:58 am

Excellent. Seven more perfect examples of ChartJunk for the next Edward Tufte book…


nobody 10.06.03 at 6:55 pm

Agreed. These are all so overloaded with stylistic junk that they actually interfere with one’s understanding of the issues and arguably trivalize very important subjects.


Shai 10.07.03 at 11:36 am

They seem pretty clear to me, other than the use of absolute rather than per capita on some of the graphs. I’m looking over Tufte Visual Explanations right now. He doesn’t seem to mind stylistic junk if it’s clear. But I suppose I’m less of a minimalist than he is.

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