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Iconic Data Graphs
July 29, 2013 1:11 PM   Subscribe

Top 10 most iconic data graphs of the last decade.
FastCoLabs enlisted three data visualization experts to compile this list to answer the question posed in Simply Statistics, a blog from three Johns Hopkins biostatistics professors. via

Simply Statistics has some extra gems, including:
posted by mcstayinskool (27 comments total) 49 users marked this as a favorite

 
Expected Salary by College Major

The "Trucker threshold" is a nice touch.
posted by Kabanos at 1:26 PM on July 29, 2013


Why isn't there an XKCD data graph up there? Seriously.
posted by lumosh at 1:29 PM on July 29, 2013 [1 favorite]


Which XKCD data graph would you pick? Movie Narrative Charts would be mine.
posted by mcstayinskool at 1:32 PM on July 29, 2013


This would be my pick.
posted by duvatney at 1:34 PM on July 29, 2013 [6 favorites]


Which XKCD data graph would you pick?

Trying to choose one would tie me in knots.
posted by lumosh at 1:34 PM on July 29, 2013


What! No We Feel Fine?
posted by Going To Maine at 1:36 PM on July 29, 2013 [1 favorite]


If "iconic" is the criterion, then probably this one.
posted by lumosh at 1:37 PM on July 29, 2013


Includes the infamous 'Death and Taxes' graph, which does not include transfer payments and is therefore a huge lie, each year deluding yet more people about where US tax revenues actually go.

If Ciara Byrne does not understand this, then she is too foolish to be in charge of this list, or she is knowingly complicit in the lie.
posted by Slithy_Tove at 1:39 PM on July 29, 2013 [4 favorites]


I would have gone with the hockey stick graph.

Or does the fact that it was created in 1998 and has been continuously refined rule it out?
posted by Hactar at 1:44 PM on July 29, 2013 [2 favorites]


The How Common is Your Birthday graphic makes it look like parents avoid birthing their children on the 13th. I didn't think mothers had enough control over their birthing date that it would be statistically significant.
posted by banal evil at 1:45 PM on July 29, 2013


Not this one?
posted by Strange Interlude at 1:45 PM on July 29, 2013 [2 favorites]


Love this thread.
posted by nosila at 1:47 PM on July 29, 2013


Scheduled C-Sections are statistically significant, which is why there are less kids on major holidays (that fall on the same day each year), 13ths of the months, etc.
posted by mcstayinskool at 1:49 PM on July 29, 2013 [2 favorites]


So they chose three people to curate a list of "Top 10 Iconic" data graphics (is that supposed to mean "10 Most Iconic"?), and one of them chose his own work (the birthday map), even though he writes on his blog "it’s just misleading and not particularly useful. My intent was to experiment with creating heatmaps. I just chose the wrong data set. Sorry for the confusion." Brilliant work. This should make Top 10 Best Most Iconic Listicles of the Year.
posted by oulipian at 1:56 PM on July 29, 2013 [3 favorites]


FWIW, there is no indication that Matt Stiles voted for his own graphic. Only the first three on the list were chosen by more than one person.
posted by mcstayinskool at 2:02 PM on July 29, 2013


Of course! Scheduled C-sections.

Macduff was from his mother's womb
Untimely ripp'd.
Only after the thirteenth was duely skipp'd

posted by banal evil at 2:05 PM on July 29, 2013 [6 favorites]


I loved that Path to the White House chart, though. I clicked it to death last fall. It's certainly iconic to me.
posted by mattbucher at 2:10 PM on July 29, 2013


"Pie I have eaten" is in my top 10.
posted by Kabanos at 2:46 PM on July 29, 2013 [1 favorite]


YAY. Now where do I buy prints of all of these?
posted by greenland at 2:49 PM on July 29, 2013


Ugh, stream graphs.

A stacked graph is pretty much only useful for tracking a general trend over time, since individual stats get all screwed up so they're difficult to compare; you can really only read one period's overall numbers against those of another period--but then stream graphs go and stack the data asymmetrically, so you can't even track that. Utterly useless.

Plus they look kinda ... intestinal.
posted by Sys Rq at 2:50 PM on July 29, 2013 [2 favorites]


Well, I plan to use that Netflix queue map to help me find a good neighborhood next time I move.
posted by ckape at 3:38 PM on July 29, 2013


This is pretty heavily weighted towards pretty rather than informative.
posted by kiltedtaco at 3:41 PM on July 29, 2013




Well, I plan to use that Netflix queue map to help me find a good neighborhood next time I move.

If you're a fan of Watchmen, you should immediately start looking for apartments in LaGuardia Airport.
posted by Sys Rq at 3:51 PM on July 29, 2013 [1 favorite]


I'm surprised by the absence of Chris Anderson's Long Tail. That was pretty influential.
posted by Toekneesan at 4:28 PM on July 29, 2013


Well, I always love these posts (eponysterically).

For my money, two NYT posts really stand out. The Obama/Romney Paths to Victory, and the one on the gender gap in earnings are astoundingly effective visualizations....

...and they make me understand how Salieri felt.

Thanks, mcstayinskool!

Also, good to see you, Sys Rq. Seems like you always pop up in these threads with something interesting to say.
posted by graphnerd at 6:49 PM on July 29, 2013


These are really cool. The salary one was really amazing (and awful).

And I like seeing the spike in births on Valentines Day, even though I'm sure it's a scheduled C-section thing as said above.


also, this one is best.

posted by Mchelly at 11:19 AM on July 30, 2013


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