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Posts: 5
Reply with quote  #46 
I'd like to revive this thread, in order to float another possible contender:

circle range.PNG 
"Filled cups." Their advantage is that they use position to show value. Stephen, in your original article, you mention that geographic maps normally can't use position, since positioning already determines map location. This inability to use position is a major part of our problem.

I think that these "cups" use position in a manner that's compatible with mapping. ...since it's not absolute position that changes, but instead the cup's "filling."

What's more, each difference in proportion of black vs. white produces a slightly different shape of black and white segments. I think this helps differentiate close comparisons even further.

Here it's mocked up in Tableau, using custom shapes. (Custom shapes are the only way to accomplish this...you can get a little creative with mark types on maps, ie bar charts, but nothing like this natively):

circle color example.PNG      

As you can see, one advantage of this approach is that we still have access to color as a variant. 

It's obviously not very clean where several overlap. You could change the transparency:

color circle transparent.PNG 

But that doesn't really solve the problem. To be frank, I think collusion is always going to be a problem when mapping, since there are always some distinct geographic areas that are too close together to each handle non-overlapping marks.

I think groupings of 10 works well, plus another 10 for negatives if necessary. However, I'm not sure how well this would work for grouping beyond 10.

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