« De-noising data | Main | Hard work pays off »



btw how do i know if these are real buildings and not lego models. without the height information i cannot tell. why did you remove the names of the buildings?


I humbly disagree. Not about the principle -- rather, I think the chart in the Times is the exception that proves the rule. While the data labels may not be "absolutely necessary", in the silly game of Tallest Skyscraper every foot matters. I read the Times chart from left to right and it's as though I see a story unfold, nicely sequenced, and the details *do* add to the narrative. I would say your gridline change is an improvement, but in every other way I prefer the original chart.


The minimalist redo is nice. I agree with Matt that in this case people are likely to want to know the actual numbers. I would place them below the X axis, along with the other supplemental information.

ezra abrams

1) please fix the design flaw in your blog where the comment link is below a thin grey line that separates the comment link from the article
2) do you have any data in support of your opinions ?
thought so; your ideas on gridlines are just assertions, totally unbacked by anything like data

I issue a challange to you:
show the two forms of the graph to 100 random people, and ask them a few questions, and see which graph people are able to interpret, and which one they like
I'm bettin dollars to donuts the original is better (ever think that the N Y Times might know a thing or two about graphic layout ? )
PS: most of what Tufte says, N Robbins says better (per SOP, the female without the high falutin university title gets the shaft)


MSB: I didn't mean to remove the building names.

Matt: No need to be humble. I said "I'd be willing to go so far as". For me, the absolute height is not interesting but the relative height is. I respect that others may disagree.

Jeff: I like your recommendation. Put the annotation below the fold.

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.)


Link to Principal Analytics Prep

See our curriculum, instructors. Apply.
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