Week 8 – Discussion(1) Colors

(1) Effects on different color palettes 

left: http://media.apps.chicagotribune.com/chicago-census/index.html

right: http://projects.nytimes.com/census/2010/explorer


Similar data sets mapped in different color palettes.

– What are the similarities & differences?

– What do these colors choices tell you?

So what about the following set of maps/videos?


VisPolitics – http://www.vispolitics.com/

Political MoneyBall – Wall Street Journal


Open Full View

More Reading >>


2 thoughts on “Week 8 – Discussion(1) Colors

  1. John Stinson (@JT_Stinson) 03/12/2013 at 5:39 PM Reply

    – Similarities: Both use dots to represent individual points of data. Both use colors to differentiate groups. Both use geolocation and appear to be equally granular, although they represent different scales.

    – Differences: The NYT maps use multiple colors (>3) because they are mapping out more than two subsets of data (ethnicity). Using a black background in this instance may obscure those data points. Furthermore, the white background allows for highways to be more clearly observed. This gives the viewer a better sense of location than the county lines, which are more prominent in the Chicago Tribune map. Dots represent a different scale: one dot = one household in the Chicago Tribune piece; one dot = 500 households in the NYT piece. This makes both maps look as if they are displaying the same amount of data, when in reality the NYT map contains far more information.

  2. mey2111 03/12/2013 at 5:50 PM Reply

    Which graph is more illuminating depends in part on the research goal. The population density of males and females appears clearer on the black and green Chicago map, but differentiating regions is much more difficult. That is, if we want to know the regions within the Chicago area that have certain demographic characteristics, it becomes more difficult in the NY Times map, which makes geography easier to discern if we want to know the makeup of given neighborhoods (e.g., for political outreach). The NY Times map provides more information but the large number of colors displayed can in a sense obscure some of the information that they are trying to convey.

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