Graphic information in science

Former-Soviety-States-v2

Click image to enlarge.

No, I am not trying to start a debate on the Ukrainian situation (although it is interesting). Just that I came across this graphic presenting data on the post-Soviet economic development of the former Soviet countries. Ukraine does sort of stand out for its poor economic performance - a possible contributor to their present problems.

But what a great way of present a lot of information? I sometimes come across such good examples of graphic presentation in political and economic reports – but hardly ever in the “hard” sciences. Although I think some biological reports can have pretty good graphics.

Wouldn’t it be great if scientists used this sort of approach to graphic presentation in the papers and reports? Those dry old tables and line, bar and scatter graphs have their limitations.

Thanks to: Canadian International Council.

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4 responses to “Graphic information in science

  1. Garrett Lisi’s TOE using the E8 algebraic group has some cool diagrams. http://arxiv.org/abs/0711.0770v1

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  2. There is definitely something to be said for modern data visualisation techniques. I keep trying to find time to up skill in producing them myself, particularly small animations for showing system flows etc… It looks to me like the best option at this stage might be learning flask language, but perhaps HTML 5 offers a better approach already.

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  3. I don’t like this particular graphic.
    To interpret one has to compare relative size of the inner and outer circles. When combined with the different sizes of each circle visual cognitive factors may interfere with interpretation.
    A normalised bar graph is far easier and more reliable to use for comparative purposes.

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  4. It would have been more accurate of me to have said “relative areas of the inner and outer circles”.

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