Vanity heights and scary charts
An inspired picture of Blackberry's dying inspiration

Seats half full or half empty

Kevin Drum shows the following graphic (link) to illustrate where the House stood on authorizing force in Syria.

What interests me is whether the semi-circle concept adds to the chart. It evokes the physical appearance of a chamber, presumably where such a debate has taken place -- although most televised hearings tend to exhibit lots of empty seats.

Kdrum_syria

The half-filled circles in particular do not make peace with me.

Here is a tree map of the same data.

Redo_drumsyria

Notice that legend boxes are unnecessary.

A pie chart with appropriate labeling acts similarly.

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A profile chart produces mixed results:

Redo_drumyria_2b

This version has the advantage of stacking the voting variable. It doesn't do a good job describing future scenarios.

Comments

Joe Mako

How about some diverging stacked bars like: http://public.tableausoftware.com/views/AuthorisingForceinSyria/View

Kaiser

Joe: I find the stacked bars slightly worse than the other options but each of these has weaknesses. Thanks for putting up the alternative.

...

Stacked bars for each party would be better than the tree map. Humans are better at comparing length than area.

Jeff

What none of these makes too easy for me is to understand the likelihood of the resolution passing. Something like this makes the projected vote clearer and provides a picture of party breakdown for additional context (and to help understand the party composition of the undecided votes).

https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/21083908/votes.png

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