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Week 9 : 512 Paths to the White House
10-26-2014, 11:12 AM (This post was last modified: 10-26-2014 11:15 AM by mathewa.)
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RE: Week 9 : 512 Paths to the White House
These type of visualizations appear more and more in websites that I frequent. Very appropriate topic, by the way, since we just went over trees in class. If any of you goto the fivethirtyeight.com website, they will have these branching trees for their statistics. They are often used in competitions where there are multiple entries and/or multiple conditions with the competition. Personally, I find these exceptionally good encoding for any type of conditional changes. When I went through probability classes, these types of visualizations work wonders on understanding the bigger picture.

The good. This viz allows the user to see the different paths. This gives a sense of the possibilities for each candidate. The colors encoding are appropriate for the semantics of the political parties and, for the contrast hue. The checkmark encoding works well for the end of the race and who wins ultimately on that path.

The bad. The text overlay is rather distracting and doesn't add that much information anyway. If I wanted to know which state, simply look the left hand side. If the state isn't that obvious, then maybe having an overlay of the state on the nodes. And it's not necessary to say "if" or "and" because thats what a dependency tree means by definition; it's conditional.

The beautiful. Overall it's an aesthetically pleasing viz. The choice of shape of lines and the spacing are really nice for such a deep tree. Being a probability junkie, I would've liked to see conditional probabilities along the edges or maybe an option for such a view. The examples at the bottom are a great idea because it show how one user has used the chart and some key examples. This brings home the point much more.

Side note. I'd like to make these type of viz myself. Probably not in processing but, rather, in Tableau. Is there way in Tableau?
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RE: Week 9 : 512 Paths to the White House - mathewa - 10-26-2014 11:12 AM

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