Sunday, April 8, 2012

Two very different infographics for the same story

If you teach information graphics, here's a good topic for class discussion. Today, The New York Times print edition has an interesting story on Chief Executives' Pay. I saw it fifteen minutes ago. I didn't feel very enthusiastic about the graphic that they run with it, though. This is a picture I shot with my iPhone:

My computer was not that far, so I went online and looked for the online version. I was curious about what kind of interactivity the Times graphics folks had added to the piece. To my surprise, the online chart is not only very different to its print sister. It is excellentelegant, nice-looking, and useful, and not only because it lets you filter stuff in and out, but because it allows you to perceive the actual proportions:

The reasons why the print and online graphics are so different escape me. I guess that they were trying to do something more appealing and entertaining for print but (and I say this as a hardcore NYT reader and huge fan of its graphics) the print version looks like a bit generic data illustration to me. And I would add: why should I spend money on a print suscription when what I can get on the Web is far superior?