Data Viz Done Right

October 1, 2009

Pop the Afghanistan War Bubbles

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Flowing Data had a post today listing resources to find data. One of these sources was the Guardian Datablog.

The image below caught my eye. It's from a Flickr pool for the Guardian datablog.



The author's says "Latest military casualty figures in proportion to each force's troop numbers. I think this gives a clearer sense of which armies are taking the most flak."

Ok, I get the intent, but why the bubbles? Doesn't a simple bar chart provide a much simpler method for communicating the data?



Here's what I see in the data: the US provides the bulk of the forces, but loses the fewest casualties as a percentage of the total force. It's known across the world that the US military is one of the most prepared, so this shouldn't surprise anyone. I don't see any enlightening information in the author's analysis, other than simply giving us a pretty report.

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