CS-5630/6630 | Visualization | Fall 2014
Week 10: A Banner Year for Policy Spending - Printable Version

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Week 10: A Banner Year for Policy Spending - Chaomeng - 10-27-2014 11:49 AM


This visualization represents the distribution of total amount of money spending on the political election by Democrats and Republicans. It uses a geographical map to represent all region in the United State, and use a circle on the map to represent the amount of money spending in the election on that region. It uses two channel to encode this visualization, the size and the color, where size indicates the amount of money spending for both parties, and the color indicates which party spends more money on that region. The higher percentage of money spent by one party, the deeper of that party’s color would be. One interesting feature here is that it uses the two very reprehensive colors, red and blue, for two parties, which makes it easy to recognize on the map.

On the top of the visualization, the total money are divided into three categories, by candidates committees, by party and by independent groups. This interaction allows you to change visualization and check the detail distribution of money spent from different categories, which is a useful interaction. On the right, the author use a legend to give the total amount of money spend on these categories, and some explanation about some information for this visualization, like the top investment by two parties.

Although I think this is a functional and readable visualization, there is still some issue for this visualization I think could improve. First, there is a problem by using circle to represent money spent on different region. Although it could use size to express its total amount, but circle overlapping with each other makes it hard to read. Especially in the Northeastern part of the map, too much circle shows and overlaps with each other on that small regions, which make it almost impossible to gather where these money belongs to. Another issue is that it is hard to trace which region one circle come from. From the explanation we know policy money are calculated by different regions in state. But the circle makes it hard to trace where that circle belong to which state, especially when some circles are big and cover multiple regions. So it would be better to show a tab and give some information on each circle when mouse click on that circle.