Highlighting data viz best practices around the web

Monday, December 29, 2014

Timeline: Gay Marriage Chronology

Source: Los Angeles Times
Authors: Megan Garvey, Molly Hennessy-Fiske, Rong-Gong Lin II, Brady MacDonald, Mark McGonigle, Maloy Moore, Anthony Pesce, Ken Schwencke, James Wagner

Click on the image to go to the interactive version.

Best Practices:
  • Excellent use of color, which makes the distinctions very clear
  • Animated version makes the changes over time very apparent, particularly in the most recent months
  • Tells a simple story clearly without any instructions needed
  • Tooltips provide useful additional information
  • Light borders around the states separates them well without being distracting
  • Creating separate boxes for Rhode Island, Delaware and Washington D.C. helps to keep them from getting lost
Recommended Enhancements:
  • Make the animation faster by default; this view actually works better when I drag it myself rather than playing it because the play is too slow
  • Filled maps can sometimes be tough to see the overall patterns because the larger states will always outweigh the smaller states when viewed this way; it'd be interesting to see this as a dot plot with the dots sized by population

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