Junk Charts
October 11, 2010 11:38 AM   Subscribe

Junk Charts and its "sister blog", Numbers Rule the World, are long-running sites with trenchant critiques of the visual and textual display of information in media. Both are instructive for decoding the information glut, as well as getting your own messages across clearly. See for example, posts on display of census information and race; Trying Too Hard; and Over Plotting.
posted by Rumple (5 comments total) 27 users marked this as a favorite

 
Well, I just spent a good half hour on Junk Charts. Love it. (someone had to say something)
posted by Lukenlogs at 3:53 PM on October 11, 2010


This post on Junk Charts is terrible. I usually like this sort of analysis, but between its inexplicable assumption that a chart reporting the results of a poll somehow switches to some different poll in its insets and its inability to distinguish that stars in a star rating system are actually filled not just to the nearest half-star, but rather to an appropriate degree it lost all credibility. Is it written by someone with vision problems?

I hate that my first comment on Metafilter in a long time is so negative, but whoever wrote that post is really hurting their cause.
posted by squarehead at 8:12 PM on October 11, 2010


I disagree, squarehead. Those are some heinously bad infographics. Stars filled to a "degree"? What a stupid way to present a bar chart. That you can, as a person experienced as many of us must be at this, suss out what a bad chart is saying does not mean that his criticism is invalid. A chart ought to be clear at a glance.
posted by dhartung at 9:54 PM on October 11, 2010


To be fair, I thought the second Junk Charts post on that Scientific American piece was better and presented charts that were really bad. I also agree that the graphics they presented in the first part weren't great. And I'm sure I've been primed by sites like imdb and netflix to notice incrementally filled stars.

But I just can't sympathize with the amount of trouble the writer claimed to have interpreting those graphics in part one. They may have been exaggerating for dramatic effect, but it ended up making me want to defend the designer's choices instead of thinking about how they could be better.
posted by squarehead at 4:58 PM on October 12, 2010


To clarify: by "the designer's choices" I meant the choices of whoever designed the infographics.
posted by squarehead at 4:59 PM on October 12, 2010


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