Thursday, August 3, 2017

Echoes of Minard: Axios maps the flow of goods between states

Axios Visuals' Chris Canipe's The Flow of Goods Between States is a a little prodigy of simplicity, reminiscent of Charles Joseph Minard's flow maps. Notice the “how to read it” paragraph. This kind of unobtrusive annotation, with many historical precedents, greatly increases the chances of readers comprehending unusual graphic forms. The bullet point list of takeaways at the bottom of the piece is also nice.

I'd like to make a suggestion: Wouldn't it be great to add some kind of table or graph showing the top five —or ten— points of origin and the top five points of destination of each category of products, along with the quantities freighted? I'm a fan of maps but, as I've pointed out elsewhere, multiple representations may yield different insights from the data.

h/t Samuel Arbesman