Tag Archives: wikipedia

2toria

It’s been a while, but…

…actually, I have no excuse other than the fact that I’ve been really busy over the past few months, both at home and in the day job.  I’ve also been doing quite a lot of learning about web design and web application development so I can put into place a few ideas I’ve had rolling around in my head for some time.  More on those soon.  In the meantime, you can check out my new blog (if you’re interested in that sort of thing) over on webdev.2toria.com for some posts about the stuff I’ve been learning.

Anyway, dear readers, I just wanted to let you know I’ve not forgotten about you.  I’ve decided to become a little more active in this area again, so you can expect more Excel, data and visualisation stuff soon.  I also want to start tackling more awful wikipedia charts again in my continued mission for clearer data presentation.

Having said that, why don’t you have a go at it?  If you follow this link you’ll see a whole raft of pie charts that could do with some work.  All you need is a wikipedia account and some common sense and you too could make a big difference.

Try this one for starters (click the image to get to the wikimedia commons entry).  There’s a list of pages using the image further down the page (there’s a lot – surely somebody out there can do something better than this!!).

 


If somebody changes it in the next 48 hours I’ll do a post about it – now that’s encouragement for you!  Just let me know it was you in the comments..

Anyway.  More from me very soon – it’s been way too long.

Charts Infographics

Wikipedia – Changing charts #3

It’s getting quite addictive this changing bad charts malarkey.  I found this one today on an entry about Tule Lake National Wildlife Refuge:-

Another simple fix, really.  Awful fonts and the seemingly ubiquitous 3d exploded pie were just just crying out to be fixed up, so I replaced it with this:-

Once again, much better, or at least I think so.  More to follow.  I might even have a go at this one (thanks to Jorge Camoes for the suggestion).

Charts

Wikipedia – Changing Charts #2

The second in my Wikipedia chart-editing ‘project’ was this, which appeared in the article ‘Ageing of Europe‘, and displays population growth for Russia:-

Whilst it’s not the worst chart in the world, there were a few things I noticed that I was unhappy with.  First of all, the 3d effect.  That had to go.  Also, the nature of the information lends itself much better to a pair of lines for easier reading and interpretation, but there’s a minor problem – the dates are a little disjointed and move in five year increments until 2005, and then we’re seeing the data yearly.  I looked at the source of the data to see if I could find out anything else.  Here are the statistics the data is based on, according to the original chart (source):-

Years

Births

Deaths

Natural
increase, decrease (-)

Infant deaths
under 1 year old

1992

1587.6

1807.4

-219.8

29.2

1995

1363.8

2203.8

-840.0

24.8

2000

1266.8

2225.3

-958.5

19.3

2005

1457.4

2303.9

-846.5

16.1

2006

1479.6

2166.7

-687.1

15.1

2007

1610.1

2080.4

-470.3

14.9

2008

1713.9

2075.9

-362.0

14.4

2009

1761.7

2010.5

-248.8

14.3

2010

1789.6

2031.0

-241.4

13.4

As you can see, the data actually seems to have either been updated, or was incorrect in the first place, as it actually starts at 1992 and finishes at 2010.  There’s still not information for the missing years, however.

I decided to use this seemingly updated information for my chart remake.

And, here it is:-

Once again, I think this paints a clearer picture.  I normalised the date ranges so that each tick is a year – the markers in each line show points where we actually have data, which doesn’t show what happened between, say, 1992 and 1995, but flows and reads much better than before, I think.

Any thoughts/suggestions on this fix?

Charts

Wikipedia – changing charts #1

Some time ago, Jorge Camoes posted about bad charts in Wikipedia and rallied for changes to be made to some truly horrific examples of bad charting.  Last night whilst browsing I noticed a few examples myself and decided to make a start, as some of the examples provided by Jorge still hadn’t been changed.

The entry on Throughput Accounting contained this beauty:-

3d bars and general junk make this a typical bad chart.  I spent an hour or so trying to fix it up a bit.  I’m no expert on accounting, so I just rearranged things a little and tried to make things look clearer and simpler.  No 3d, clearer labelling and re-ordering of the axes resulted in this:-

It’s still not perfect,  but so much better than the original, or at least I think so.  It’s a start, anyway.  Your comments are more than welcome.

Additionally, I wholeheartedly recommend that you also seek out more examples of bad charting and do something to fix them up to make charts on Wikipedia more consistent and junk-free.