« New look | Main | Dropped, just like that »


Kelly O'Day


I've added correlation information and creek name labels to your version.


Jorge Camoes

Kaiser, Kelly: that's the easy solution. You should know by now that the media (in general) is afraid of scatter plots and do what ever it takes just to avoid them, as you can see in the example above.

And you are aware that your charts are so naked they are hardly decent, don't you? You should replace each dot with a photo of each creek, or something like that. Just to hide the nature of the chart...

Aleks J

What strikes me about this truly awful chart is the correlation-causation junk. Paved surfaces are just one of the indicators of urbanization. Deciding on the effect of population density vs pet density and similar would have been much more enlightening. I guess one needs a chaotic chart to hide something very obvious.


Kelly, labels are the first thing I thought of too, but I'm not sure the exponential trend line means anything, even though the correlation is an impressive 99%.

I'd be more inclined to go for a y=mx2 relationship, even if the correlation doesn't turn out to be as good.


I was grateful to Xan Gregg, the commenter in the rip-tide thread who provided the numbers the graph was based on. If anyone else acquires such a data set for one of Kaiser's charts, can they post a link to it in comments so we can all play?


That should be y=mx2+c :-)


Picking up where Aleks left off - the degree of correlation in this data is uncanny; this usually implies either a bad design or data tampering. Part of the problem is that the small sample size of 6 does not justify fitting nonlinear models. Also, maybe some simple mechanism (latent variable) explains this correlation.


I'm guessing catchment area versus creek length, hence my thought about a quadratic fit.


kaiser, i enjoy reading your blog half a year now and finally i've got something more or less usefull to add:

i like the new design of your page better but it needs some re-design.
it is not intuitively clear that the comment is from the "posted by" below the comment because of the dotted line between them. the line should be under the "posted by". or: make the space between comments bigger.


失踪: That's a great point. I'll figure out if there is a way for me to change that setting.

Verify your Comment

Previewing your Comment

This is only a preview. Your comment has not yet been posted.

Your comment could not be posted. Error type:
Your comment has been posted. Post another comment

The letters and numbers you entered did not match the image. Please try again.

As a final step before posting your comment, enter the letters and numbers you see in the image below. This prevents automated programs from posting comments.

Having trouble reading this image? View an alternate.


Post a comment

Your Information

(Name is required. Email address will not be displayed with the comment.)

Marketing analytics and data visualization expert. Author and Speaker. Currently at Columbia. See my full bio.

Book Blog

Link to junkcharts

Graphics design by Amanda Lee

The Read

Good Books

Keep in Touch

follow me on Twitter