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01 April 2009 @ 04:04 pm
I think this is jaw-droppingly cool  
A Periodic Table of Visualization Methods. Does use some kind of scripting to pop up an example of the element when you mouse over the entry in the table.

I think Edward Tufte would be proud. (But I could be wrong about that.)
Current Mood: excitedfascinated
piranha @ dreamwidthpir_anha on April 1st, 2009 10:59 pm (UTC)
Periodic Table of Visualization Methods
awesome! and i agree with you about tufte.
Charlie Princeccprince on April 1st, 2009 11:19 pm (UTC)
Yeah, it's definitely a groovy collection of visualization tools ... but, while I think Tufte would appreciate the information, the "periodic table" format is exactly the sort of "chartjunk" he rails against. A distressingly high percentage of the chart, at least by area, is pointless — fully a third of each box is the abbreviation, which in this context gives no useful information. Not to mention the fact that shoving all the entries into the shape of the periodic table is misleading, at best; the table of the elements is shaped the way it is because the rows and columns organize the elements by similarity, which is absent in this chart.

(pant, pant, pant)

OK. I'm clearly more worked up over this than it warrants. :-)
Janet Miles, CAP-OMjanetmiles on April 2nd, 2009 12:32 am (UTC)
Hm. I thought that the items were kind of arranged by similarity.
Charlie Princeccprince on April 2nd, 2009 12:58 am (UTC)
True, there are the six color-coded categories, which are grouped by similarity.

But, what makes the periodic table of elements, well, periodic, is the grouping of elements in rows and columns, based on unique properties of the elements. In this diagram — as with so many other "periodic tables" — it's just formatted that way not because it reveals and classifies some aspect of the relationships between the elements/diagrams, but because it looks neat.

And that's pretty much Tufte's entire point: "just because it looks neat" = "chartjunk" = not good.
Maggiesillymagpie on April 2nd, 2009 06:58 am (UTC)
I think it's nifty. Thanks!