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I like the last chart too, but I'd rather change the map for a series of labels. Bars side by side are in the same position as Chile regions, so why do we need the map?

Jan Schultink

Everyone knows Chile as being "vertical". Map upright. Column of labels to the right connected with dotted lines to the regions on the map, regular bar chart to the right of that


An upright map makes a lot of sense to me. Not just because it is Chile, but also because this will allow more room to show the data using bars. (For example, 365 and 551 are practically invisible right now.)

For ease of recognition, it might be useful to "connect" the region boundaries to their bars using some unobtrusive shading. The actual numbers could be shown to the right of each bar so they remain prominent.

Enjoyable, as always. Thanks for calling this out.


Am I the only one who thinks the original looks a lot better than the proposed replacements, and its supposed deficiencies are minor at worst? I'm aware of the issue with comparing size of bubbles but the map-driven spacing of the bars in the bar charts also makes it hard to compare their heights. I might simplify the design of the lines connecting bubbles to data but that's about it.

Finally, it seems to me the horizontal orientation makes perfect sense in the context of the usual layout of a page. Maybe this isn't so unusual in Chile? What's so superior about north anyway? ;-)


Tom: how is the map-driven spacing of the bubbles in the bubble chart better than the map-driven spacing of the bars?

Jan: I suppose a large vertical chart on a newspaper does not look so good. The original comes from one of the major Chilean papers and it is horizontal.

btw, I should credit the Australian embassy website where I found the green/orange Chilean map.

Jan Schultink

@Kaiser: OK, maybe you are right about vertical charts in newspapers.
@Tom: I am actually curious about whether the horizontal layout is "normal" in Chile. New Zealand, Norway are maybe the only other countries with this issue, but not as extreme as Chile. Here, Israel (also a bit tall) is always displayed vertically :-)


I'm not saying the map-spaced bubbles are better, just that they're perhaps no worse. To me there's something visually unsatisfying about introducing a horizontal axis then having things arbitrarily spaced along it.

If the geographical variation in this economic indicator is felt to be important, how about a map shaded by value of the indicator?

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