Archive for February 2009


our day, visualizing the American Time Use Survey

February 14th, 2009 — 2:18am

For Jeff’s class I created an interactive visualization of the American Time Use Survey. I got sick last week so didn’t have a lot of time to work on it. As a result it turned out somewhat derivative of the Baby Name Voyager and other stacked area plots.

That said, I think it lets you find some rather interesting patterns in how people use their time. Most noticeable is the extra hour or so that people sleep in on the weekends.

ourday

3 comments » | visualization

Fundamental Statistical Concepts in Presenting Data: Principles for Constructing Better Graphics

February 14th, 2009 — 2:11am

Via Andrew Gelman I came across this long paper (updated version) on statistical visualization by Rafe Donahue. I haven’t read it through carefully yet, but I enjoyed the examples of visualizations from his children’s schoolwork.

He criticizes boxplots, which caused a discussion in the comments to Andrew’s post. I read Tukey’s EDA recently and was surprised to see how much of Tukey’s work was focused on visualization by hand. The boxplot is a sensible visualization when you had to compute and plot manually. Using only 5 numbers it portrayed much of what was important about the data. However, now that plotting is cheap, it makes a lot more sense to just plot all the data.

In general, summaries, visual or otherwise, which assume a single mode, or worse normality, should be treated with a great deal of caution.

1 comment » | visualization

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