Thursday, June 27, 2019

Visualization humor

Coincidences: After my post yesterday about a paper she co-wrote, Lace Padilla tweeted a cartoon she drew a while ago for her PhD dissertation:


I'm very interested in hurricane mapping—I've written about it for Eurostat in the context of visualizing uncertainty; there's almost an entire chapter about this topic in How Charts Lie; I'm part of a research group focusing on it; and if you've attended one of my recent public talks, you've heard me rant about it,—so I suggested a second panel for the cartoon, showcasing the infamous cone of uncertainty with dialogue that could go like this:

“Nice! The hurricane won't affect my town!” ”Oops, it still may threaten you.” ”Then why isn't my town inside the cone?”
. . .

Lace then drew an entire strip (below), adding: “This could be the start of "Everyone vs. Scientists" comic strip.” I disagree: it could be centered instead on visualizations, and the many ways the public misinterprets them. Maybe Lace herself or one of the many talented artists who design both pictorial infographics and data visualizations could create an XKCD-like cartoon series about graphics?