For the second week of class, we were meant to bring in an example of a visualization that we think works, and one that perhaps does not work so well, and be prepared to critique both. I’ll start with the successful example: Human Trafficking Worldwide.
The horizontal line across the middle of the image serves as the key: it informs you of many variables at once: the nation name, the inner ring (incidence of smuggling into the country), and the outer ring (incidence of smuggling out of the country)
1) Nations & Continents: nations are arranged by continent (labels are the large CAPITALS on the outside of the image) and organized alphabetically therein; nations are represented by each individual spike and labeled in the dark ring separating the inner area from the outer area.
2) Extent of Export Smuggling Occuring: This variable ranges on a 5-point scale (Very Low, Low, Medium, High, Very High), depicted both in color (deep blue = very low), as well as length of the spike (the longer the protrusion away from the black ring in the middle, the higher the incidence of trafficking)
3) Extent of Import Smuggling Occuring: This variable also ranges on a 5-point scale (Very Low, Low, Medium, High, Very High), also depicted both in color (deep blue = very low), as well as length of the spike (albeit the direction of the protrusion is reversed, ie the higher the incidence of trafficking into the country, the bigger the spike pointing towards the middle of the circle)
Less Successful Data Visualization:
This is a graphic I found on a productivity website. It is a thorough attempt to decipher which communications platform (email, instant messaging, video conferencing, etc) is best suited for which set of constraints (employees located in the same space, response required, etc). Here it is:
The virtue of this diagram is that it manages to pin down into a series of binaries (yes/no questions) whether one course of action is appropriate over another, so it avoids excessive branching.
The major drawback of this diagram is that there is no clear definition of the logic of the arrangement of the relative technologies. Specifically, it might make more sense to render it in such a manner that the end points were oriented to one side, with the continuations off to another, such that one can more readily observe the a pattern in the increasing specificity.