Rebirth of the twin towers
Reading the landscape

Those prickly eyebrows

Darin M. points us to this speedometer chart, produced by IBM (larger version here). They call it the "Commuter Pain Index". I call it a prickly eyebrow eyelashes chart. You be the judge.


The "eyebrows" on this chart are purely ornaments. The only way to read this chart is to read the data labels, so it is a great example of failing the self-sufficiency test.

The simplest way to fix this chart is to unwrap the arc, turning this into a bar chart. The speedometer is a cute idea but very difficult to pull off because the city names are long text fields, and variable in length.





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Rick Wicklin

A problem with an "index" is that it's hard to figure out the scale of comparison. How high can the scale go? Does an "average city" has index=50? Is it pegged to "average pain" in 2000, or does the scale change from year to year?

Furthermore, if all you're doing is comparing cities, why introduce a scale at all? Why not just rank the cities according to your scale and publish the rankings, similar to the US News and World Report ranking of colleges and universities?


These are eyelashes!

Angelina Downs

The accessories are really tricky. I remembered my teacher who used this kind of diagram in her discussions, many of us, her students, were confused because of the style. She should have used simpler one, also this blog.

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