Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Donations Over Time

This graphic published by USA Today on Nov. 30, 2010, presents a lot of information. I have a hard time saying that I like this graphic because it is so busy. I feel like all the different graphs were jigsaw-puzzled together. It would have been better for organization if each graph had a box around it so that the reader could clearly tell when one graph ends and another starts. One thing I do like about this graphic is the graph on the far left. It includes a line for inflation, which is a factor that I think is typically forgotten when money over the years is discussed. Including the inflation line lets the reader compare donations in the past in current money values. I also like that the two bar graphs highlight the highest value in a darker shade of blue.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Robot Weapons

The New York Times published this interactive infographic on Nov. 27, 2010. I like this graphic because the opening shot has every new robot that will be discussed in it and the robot is in the setting it would be used. Each new slide shows an up-close look at each robot and gives an overview of what it was created to do. I think the graphic drawings are detailed enough to give readers the idea of the robot, but not so detailed as to give away the technology. This graphic could have been enhanced if the robots were animated to move like they do.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

What's your generation?

This image is the results of a graphic quiz published by USA Today. The reader starts by being told the quiz can predict when the reader was born based on their memories of current, cultural, and sports events, among other things. The reader starts the quiz and is asked eight questions. For example, I was asked what was the most popular movie of the choices given when I was growing up. I was looking for "Titantic" but had to chose "Toy Story" because it was the choice from my childhood (I remember watching "Toy Story" over and over with my brothers when we were little). At the end of the quiz, the graphic above was given. The quiz guesses I was born about 1980, which is wrong by almost a decade.

I think part of what threw this quiz off was 1. my memory and 2. my choices on the quiz. First, my memory proved me wrong because I chose Mary Lou Retton as the first athlete I remember. I thought she was the gymnast from the 1996 Atlanta Olympics who was injured (who I now know is Kerri Strug). That threw off the results because she was at the 1984 Olympics and I wasn't even born yet! Second, my choices didn't always allow me to answer correctly. When I was asked what TV show was popular when I was in high school, I wasn't given a TV show that was popular when I was in high school. The graphic at the end of the quiz lists "American Idol" and "The O.C.", which I would have chosen if I had been given those as choices. Instead, I had to choose "The Real World" because it was the most recent TV show offered. This made it seem to the quiz that I was in high school in the early 1990s. These elements changed the outcome of the quiz and made it wrong. But in the end, I found it interesting and will pass it along to my family and friends to see if they have better results than I do.

This graphic is neat because I didn't understand what the images on the top of the graph meant. When I ran my cursor over it, an explanation of that generation popped up and the image made sense. The red line that goes down the graph is not explained - and I think it could use an explanation. When the red dots are clicked on (which are the answers I chose), a window pops up with a video or audio file about the item and a quick paragraph. I like how this results graphic is interactive but there are parts that can be improved within the quiz and the graph.

Russian Jury System

The New York Times published this graph on Nov. 15, 2010 about the Russian jury system. I think the circle graph does a good job of showing the "slim chance" of a person getting a jury trial. It shows the smallness of the chance and I can't think of another graph form that would be as effective. I think the line graph does a good job of showing the chance for acquittal in a jury trial. It makes it obvious that a person would hope for a jury trial. But, I think this graph has the opportunity to confuse people because people are used to seeing percentages out of 100%. If the reader does not pay close attention to the values on the y-axis, they might think it's out of 100%, and not 25%. This could give the reader a confused view.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Restrictions on Advertising

On Nov. 14, 2010, The New York Times published this map of the world. This map gives several layers of information. The most noticeable one is the color-scaling that lets the reader use the legend to see how much tobacco ads are restricted in that country. The next layer of information is how much tobacco use has changed in 10 years. The last layer of information separates internet advertising from other types and lets readers see that the countries outline in black ban internet advertising.

The story this map accompanies is about how a global initiative is trying to further restrict tobacco advertising. I think making the map show what countries are a part of the initiative would either enhance it or make it interactive.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

China's Major Metropolitans

World News with Diane Sawyer (ABC) created this interactive graphic map to show readers China's 10 "most vibrant and fastest growing cities." I like this map because the reader can choose to see the information about an individual city (population, major industries, unique background story) or see the cities in relation to each other and that area of the world. It's also nice that they use the familiar Google maps as well. The major problem I find with this graphic is that I can only 9 cities that are highlighted. I even had my friend count and he found 9 cities as well. I'm not sure if one isn't showing on my computer, but I can't find it!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Leading Scientist Predictions

The New York Times put together this interactive feature graphic about where leading scientists think their fields will be headed over the next 10 years. Each page has a photo of the scientist, an audio clip and a quote from the scientist, and then some background information about their quote. The pictures of the other scientists serve as links and when the mouse is rolled over them the scientist's name, field and a quick quote from them pops up. This is meant to intrigue the reader and make them click on the next prediction.

I like this graphic feature because it is a stand alone story that combines a few different media forms. The pop-up feature allows the reader to get a quick idea of what the scientist thinks so not a lot of time is needed to get all the information from the story. I think for the purpose and goal of this story, it is as enhanced and interactive as it needs to be.

Sunday, November 7, 2010


This interactive graphic by the AP allows the reader an in-depth look at the unemployment rates across the United States. The tabs across the top of the graphic allow the reader to look at rates by county, state, industry sector, and as a historic timeline. In the county and state view, by rolling the mouse over the map, it is possible to see each county's and state's statistics compared to the national statistics. The industry sector allows the reader to see three months (Oct. '09, Sept. '10, Oct. '10) of unemployment rates for each industry.

I like this graphic because of the variety of ways available to analyze the information. The use of different shades of blues creates a non-busy look and lets the reader easily see the gravity of the unemployment in an area or time. I like that it also gives perspective to these unemployment rates by going back to the 1980's in the timeline to show those rates. This graphic is well-done.