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Week 7 - Obama's 2012 Budget Proposal : How $3.7 Trillion is Spent
10-09-2014, 05:40 PM
Post: #1
Week 7 - Obama's 2012 Budget Proposal : How $3.7 Trillion is Spent
Here is the link to the visualization
http://www.nytimes.com/packages/html/new...19-budget/

This visualization show us how the $3.7 Trillion budget will be spent in 2012, and this data are compare with that in 2010. The author use the tree map as the basic framework with addition interaction technique. The size of the rectangles are relative to the proposed spending. The color range from depth red to depth green. The green means the money spent on that area increase and the red means the money decrease. The luminance of the color shows the rate of increase and decrease. when your mouse hover each rectangle, it will show use the detail information about the how much money spend on this. There are zoom in, zoom out, full screen buttons, and a search text box beside them on the top of the vis. On the left of the vis is some interesting thing that the author find out, you can click the zoom it, it will bring you to the detail.


The thing that I like about this vis is that it gives your a quick overview about where those budge money goes. It’s easy for us to get that Health And Human Services, Social Security Administration, Defense-Militarty Programs, and Treasury compose the major part of budget, they take almost 3/4 and the green on them tells us that they are increasing compare to 2010. I also like the search bar on the top of the vis, it can help you find out the information that you are interested. For example, you type education, it will pop out 10 opinion for you to choose. Another thing I like about this vis is the text menu on the left of the vis, it gives your some interesting information that the author find out. For example, the NO. 5 items shows you that Mr. Obama wants to spend more to train math, science and engineering teacher. that’s a good new for us.

this vis does effective shows us overview of percentage of each major part. however, when thing go to detail, it will bother me a lot. we can see those items only when they are big enough which means they cost much money. there are a lot of small items and most of them cluster together and you have no idea what they are. I think may be this vis can add a hierarchy item menu like following to help your navigate to the item that we want to see.


* Education
* student aid
* improve
* health insurance
* xxx
* xx

Overall, I think this vis is a very interesting vis.
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10-12-2014, 07:59 PM
Post: #2
RE: Week 7 - Obama's 2012 Budget Proposal : How $3.7 Trillion is Spent
I think that this is a very interesting visualization, and I believe that the original critique hit on most of the major points. I like the menu on the left side of the screen that lets viewers see certain points the author wanted to highlight.

I think that the color scheme was poorly chosen. In the lectures we have talked a lot about color and color-blind individuals. The red-green range is the most common form of color-blindness, and the entire visualization depends on these two colors being distinct.

I also didn't like how difficult it was to see the small details. To compound on this, when I tried to zoom on certain areas, the visualization zoomed right onto the block I clicked on; it wasn't a gradual zoom. Overall, I think this visualization was a good way to represent the data, but some poor choices were made on the execution.
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10-12-2014, 11:32 PM
Post: #3
RE: Week 7 - Obama's 2012 Budget Proposal : How $3.7 Trillion is Spent
This is an informative visualization tree map graph that tells us where the $3.7 Trillion went to. It's also very interactive with all the detail information showing when user points the mouse somewhere, and with a select box where you can type some category that you're interested to in order to find some more.
However, I do agree with zhiminl that a glance of this graph only gives us the information what parts got the biggest money. For the small areas it's hard to know clear.
And also, the color matches the stock market color where red meaning down and green meaning up, but it's not good for color blind people. It should be targeted for a more general audience, so I would suggest a different pair of colors.
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10-12-2014, 11:40 PM
Post: #4
RE: Week 7 - Obama's 2012 Budget Proposal : How $3.7 Trillion is Spent
1) I thought the visualization was rather bland and basic. Something more creative, or memorable would have been nice to help make it stay in the reader's memory.

2) The color encodes effectively the increase/decrease in an area from the previous budget. I agree with Nicki that color blindness would be an issue with this graphic, especially the choice of red and green.

3) Some of the break ups into sub-areas was not very visually distinct; I had a hard time assessing for instance where the "defense and military" block began and ended without reading the rollover text.

4) It was hard to see aggregate trends clearly for a collection of blocks. Again, for defense and military, some sub areas saw an increase, and others a decrease, and I couldn't say for sure whether the overall trend for the entire area was negative or positive. The eye tends to simply calculate whether more area is green or red, when deciding whether the entire block saw a rise or fall in expense.
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10-12-2014, 11:52 PM
Post: #5
RE: Week 7 - Obama's 2012 Budget Proposal : How $3.7 Trillion is Spent
This visualization is very informative in the sense that it gives very good picture of ratios of money being spent on different agendas. But, it only seems to be good only for the agendas which have larger part of spending associated with them. The smaller details get hidden mostly due to incomplete texts and poor choice of color for labeling as well as for boxes. The mouse-hover feature helps a bit in knowing the smaller details, but that requires you to randomly hover over an area you're interested in. I feel that a large part of the area in this visualization gets wasted (see how empty 'health and human services' block looks), and could have been used to show some more details. The zoom-in and zoom-out feature work well for the visualization and also some notes on the left hand side make it more interesting.
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10-15-2014, 09:31 AM
Post: #6
RE: Week 7 - Obama's 2012 Budget Proposal : How $3.7 Trillion is Spent
I really do not like tree map graphs. They're hard to visually parse, and with this one the boxes at the bottom-right are so small that (1) you can't tell what they represent, and (2) the labeling leads to visual clutter. It's nice that you can zoom in to see what the smaller boxes are, but then you lose sight of the big picture and the context.

Furthermore, I understand the red/green convention for spending/saving, but it's a poor choice for those who may be red-green colorblind.
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10-15-2014, 05:02 PM
Post: #7
RE: Week 7 - Obama's 2012 Budget Proposal : How $3.7 Trillion is Spent
I agree that this visualization does a very good job on summarizing the data. i find that tree maps are really good when you want to see the whole and then find what the largest chuck is. But when you try to find the details of things it can be hard to figure it out. It was nice that they showed how much the increase was compared to last budget. I wish however that the colors were different. They are fine for this but having the red and green can be confusing. It may mean democrats and republicans, or just to those that have a hard time seeing green and red can have a hard time. This might be better if there was a different color. Other than that I would agree that this does a good job communicating the whole budget. I do like the rollover and zoom part of the visualization it helps because the words on the chart are really hard to read.
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10-21-2014, 09:42 AM
Post: #8
RE: Week 7 - Obama's 2012 Budget Proposal : How $3.7 Trillion is Spent
This tree map is really informative to show the decrease and increase in different area. I suppose to think some small items like Food and Drug Administration, Administration on aging are hard to see. But the zoom in and zoom out are quite effective to solve this problem. And also, the color, red and green mostly, is simple but easy to tell.

But the weak point I think is the space usage rate is not quite efficient. For example, it is true the Health and Human Services has a bit percentage in the budget, however, this big percentage on the map makes other items hard to see. I have to zoom in to each part every time and it's not convenient.
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