Maps are brilliantly intuitive, but also involve potential pitfalls that can affect the viewer’s interpretation of the data.

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This article is part of a multi-part series on data visualization. Parts 1 and 2 focus on using data visualization throughout the data science workflow and determining when visualizing your data is an appropriate approach for communicating information. Part 3 focuses on factors that affect effective and honest communication of a data story (first article here; second article here). This is the final article of Part 3, and the last article in this series.

When data has an underlying geographical relationship, it often makes sense to plot it on a map. Maps are brilliantly intuitive, and often contribute substantially to our understanding of patterns in data. However, they also involve potential pitfalls that can affect the viewer’s interpretation of the data. …


Colour is a critical factor affecting the viewer’s interpretation of a visualization.

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This article is part of a multi-part series on data visualization. Parts 1 and 2 focus on using data visualization throughout the data science workflow and determining when visualizing your data is an appropriate approach for communicating information. Part 3, The Importance of Integrity, focuses on factors that affect effective and honest communication of a data story. Article 1 discussed the effect of plot parameters. This is the second article of Part 3, and the third article — and last of the series — is on the potentials and pitfalls of maps.

Colour is a critical factor affecting the viewer’s interpretation of a visualization. In this article, we will start with some background on colour theory, and then discuss two different aspects of colour usage that can drive this…


Data visualization is a form of communication. You have the power to clarify or to conceal, to tell the truth or to deceive.

Image for post
Image for post

This article is part of a three-part series on data visualization. Parts 1 and 2 focus on using data visualization throughout the data science workflow and determining whether visualizing your data is an appropriate approach for communicating information. Part 3, The Importance of Integrity, focuses on factors that affect effective and honest communication of a data story. This is the first article of Part 3. Next up are the second (How Colour Choice Influences Interpretation) and third (Maps: Potentials & Pitfalls) articles of Part 3, the latter of which concludes this series.

Data visualization is a form of communication, whether you’re telling the story to yourself or to someone else. This means that you have the power to clarify or to conceal, to tell the truth or to deceive. And because images are so powerful, this form of communication is often more compelling than just using words or numbers — so it is even more important to maintain integrity. …

About

Lindsay Devon Brin

Ecologist turned data scientist. Runner, drummer, feminist, backpacker, incessantly analytical mind. Which tie for 1st depends on the day. www.lindsaydbrin.com

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