Sunday, April 20, 2014

Good visualization by National Geographic

Sunday is the perfect day to enjoy some good journalism and graphics at leisure. This morning, right after I finished breezing through the humongous Sunday edition of The New York Times*, I went back to an interactive visualization about exoplanets that I discovered yesterday. It was designed by National Geographic's Xaquín G.V. and John Tomanio. I hope that Juan Velasco will soon write about how it was made.

Xaquin's and John's graphic is elegant and fun to play with. Notice that you can toggle between a logarithmic and a linear scale on the Y-axis, which is a great idea. Perhaps my only complaint is that the graphic cannot be seen in its entirety unless that you have a large screen (I do.) Otherwise, you'll need to scroll.

Also, I think that they are burying the lede a bit, but this may be just me. This is one of the most interesting points of the graphic, but it's shown at the end of the text box on the right, where it may easily go unnoticed:

"The logarithmic scale used initially here allows for an easier comparison of the exoplanets. The linear scale shows how shallow the habitability zone is."

Nice one, in any case!

*Tossing the Sports and Styles sections aside; paying attention at the news, Book Review, Sunday Review, and Business pages; keeping the magazine for tomorrow; etc.