15 April 2014

[design] This NBC News Graphic Explains Something About Race In America, Somehow.

But just what, we're not entirely certain …
From this NBCNews tweet

We can see what the problem here is … the graphic is just plain working too hard, and the message is confused and bewildering. Signifying the changing percentages with color bands is taking a risky step to begin with. But when you frame it with the outline of the coterminous 48 and include the state lines, it looks less like a continuum of change and more like, by the year 2060 there's going to be a shift in the national Asian reservation from the northwest corner of Washington to the middle third of Maine.

Seriously, mixing it up this way leaves me bemused. It's like one of those sentences that's so loosely constructed that you have to step back from it, you get to the end and you say 'oh, I get it', then glance back at the beginning of the thought to see if you started off from a solid assumption and just have to reparse the whole thing all over again because you lost the thread.

Vox has a much clearer bar graph where I got turned on to this at http://www.vox.com/2014/4/14/5612970/how-not-to-visualize-americas-changing-demographics

It's a good thing they didn't have a pie chart. God only knows how that would have turned out. There might have been casualties. 

In the meantime, here's Brian Williams rapping.

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