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McCandless's first big mistake was making the graphic circular (what is this cultural thing about circles?). The second mistake, which followed from the first, was creating letters and numbers to be a key to the labels, instead of just using the labels.

The third mistake was not making an effort to reorder the rows and columns, Bertin style, so we could see the cross-cultural patterns (Why are 41 and 62 not next to each other, and close to 35 and 77? because the numbered qualities are in alphabetical order!).

The result is an informationless data graphic. Data needs to be treated properly before you can call the result information.

Barry Rowlingson

If anyone wants the raw colour data from this plot, I've sampled the graphic on ten concentric circles, typed in the trait and region names, and read it into R.

Short blog post on how here:


Manu R

To pile on, why aren't the colors self-sufficient, i.e. why do I need a legend to tell me what the colors are when the keys from the legend aren't used anywhere else in the chart?

I. P.

Sergei Surganov remade this thing as a table — http://surganov.livejournal.com/95798.html

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