Data Viz Done Right

August 21, 2017

Makeover Monday: The Monthly Latitude Range of Solar Eclipses by Century

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I'm not going to lie, I really struggled with the data set this week. It seemed everything I tried either wasn't interesting or didn't show anything particularly good. That happens I suppose and I'm ok with that.

This week we looked at this viz of thousands of years of solar eclipses:


What works well?

  • Fantastic interactivity and drill down capabilities
  • Showing the paths of each eclipse along with the partial eclipse breadth
  • Coloring each eclipse type
  • Leveraging Google Maps so the user can customize the map to their preference
  • Good explanations above and below the chart

What could be improved?

  • Remove the labels on each line to declutter the map
  • Avoid a repeating map
  • Include a more impactful title

My Goals

  • Explore the data to find some interesting analysis per Eva's request
  • Build lots of views to see what pops
  • Simplify the view to reduce complexity and clutter
  • Compare northern to southern hemisphere
  • Use colors that are clearly distinguishable

As I mentioned, I really struggled. I built lots of view and probably hit undo 200 times. I didn't like anything. I sent a few complaining messages to Eva and she essentially told me to suck it up. Tough love indeed!

Finally, I decide to create a calculation to aggregate by century and then created an LOD to return the max and min latitude in any given month within the century. By any given month, I don't mean month/year, I mean month. So what is the average of all Januarys, Februarys, etc. and then what is the max of those values. I then compared that to max to the min to determine the range.

I don't love it, but I'm done. I've struggled enough.

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