Poking at the data behind a chart
Bloomberg issues a health warning dressed up as a fast-food menu

Geographical data charted right

The following chart by the Financial Times reminds me of the famous Napoleon Russian Campaign map:


I also love it when geographical data, in this case average house price data by region, are plotted without a map. If plotted on a map, the relative prices are typically differentiated by color. On this chart, they are encoded in the heights of the columns. Our brains are just not wired to translate color differences into numeric differences so every time we can avoid color scales, we should.

Like Minard's chart, multiple dimensions are comfortably accommodated. The location along the river bank. The north/south orientation of the location. The "width" of a neighborhood.

A minor quibble is with the choice of data series. I wonder if price per square feet would be a better metric. One can also try a relative scale (indexed to the average).


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Martin Stabe

The graphic can be seen on the FT site here.


Thanks Martin. I've added the link above. I made the (incorrect) assumption that the articles are all behind a paywall.

Ed Hollox

I agree, this is nice, and I also agree that a "normalised" figure for value would be better, such as pounds per square feet (or square metre since this is Europe). However, that is a figure that is not recorded by the Land Registry - unlike in New York prices of apartments (flats) are not often quoted in price per area, and houses never quoted in price per area. So I suspect that is the reason why.

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