Reader Eduardo is unhappy about the embellishments in this Nikeplus chart of miles ran by day; "pretty but misleading" he wrote us to say. This is a clear case of more is less.
As a data graphic, it doesn't work. The reflections don't work. Perhaps Nike wants to remind all you super-dedicated Nano-wearing runners
what it's like to run in mist or rain! To quote Eduardo: "The bars start at -1! I guess it is motivation." An extra mile for everyone. The rounded corners make it harder to read the level.
Speaking of bar charts, I want to follow up on an exchange from March. In that example, we claimed that not starting bars at zero misrepresented the relative lengths of those bars. The chart showed counts of baseball players implicated in the Mitchell Report by position.
This distortion arises from taking the same length off each bar regardless of the data. As a result, the ratios of the lengths between the bars have been changed drastically.
For example, the ratio of P/3B in the top chart is 31/9 = 3.4 but in the bottom chart, it is 23/1 = 23!