Flower People

My latest visualization is a different aesthetic take on Gapminder data. Specifically this looks at the relationship between the change in life expectancy and income from 1965 to 2015 by country and region. This viz was inspired by Valentina D'Efilippo's amazing Poppy Field visualization. Her work is awesome. Check it out here.

The size of the flower represents current population. The height of the flower represents GDP per capita. And the curvature of the stem represents the change in life expectancy between 1965 and 2015. Click the image to interact.

I also think this visualization is interesting in light of the conversation/debate on Stephen Few's blog regarding the debate between data visualization as an art or science. Few is firmly in the latter camp with others like David McCandless in the former. In my humble opinion there is a time or place for both. This visualization falls more in the art camp obviously. Is it harder to read than perhaps a traditional chart but visually it's more compelling. 

While I don't think a visualization should completely forsake accuracy for art I also think telling a compelling story is part of visualizing data. Ideally, your data visualization should invoke thought or emotion in an honest manner. Now some visual mediums are better for conveying data accurately. And some are more visually compelling and inspiring. Finding that nexus is the fun part of this field.
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