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Bubble graphs

Junk Charts features these examples of pretty but not-particularly-informative bubble plots from the New York Times. If you like those, you’ll love this beautiful specimen that Jouni sent me awhile ago. As Junk Charts puts it, “perhaps the only way to read their intention is to see them as decorated data tables, in other words, as objets d’art rather than data displays.”

I’ll have to say, though, the bubble charts do display qualitative comparisons better than tables do. But, yeah, “real” graphs (dot plots, line plots, etc) would be better.


  1. Not very high information density– is it? At least they are done correctly.

    I hate it when the radii are the scaled variable and not the area.

  2. Coruscation says:

    Bubbleplot mania at the NYT:
    Compares recent stock performance with trailing long term performance.