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danz

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Posts: 186
Reply with quote  #1 
This occured to me on Facebook, being shared, then liked by many others.

http://howmuch.net/articles/one-diagram-that-will-change-the-way-you-look-at-the-us-economy

A packed bubbles graph, which was adopted after Tableau by many other BI tools, looks as a fantastic choice if is compared with above diagram. Not that a packed bubbles graph is anything by a fancy way of filling an available space, with no obvious benefit from my point of view, but at least it gives some poor comparison possibilities.
If this treemap reinterpretation is going to be adopted by BI tools as well, something is obviously going wrong. 
sfew

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Reply with quote  #2 
Danz,

This is what's called a voronoi tesselation treemap. It was introduced in a research paper that was presented at the IEEE VisWeek conference, I believe in 2006. When I gave a keynote presentation at VisWeek in 2007, I made fun of this version of a treemap as an ineffective waste of research time.

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Stephen Few
danz

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Reply with quote  #3 
Stephen,

I can only imagine you had enough fun at VisWeek in 2007 regarding this subject. What bother me is that a representation like voronoi treemap (and similar other derivatives), even if it is a result of an interesting research, it is legitimated without a decent examination by some BI tools or publications.

Voronoi tessellation was never intended to be a useful visual treemap solution, but a representation of partitioning space based on distances between fixed points. 

Sadly the author of the article did not prove much knowledge in either BI visualization field or mathematics and yet his graphic is shared and appreciated by others.  
jlbriggs

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Reply with quote  #4 
This made the round on Twitter recently too.

The general mindset that I observed seemed to be along the lines of "there's no good way to show this data, so this way is good enough".

Ugh.

infinite8s

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Posts: 4
Reply with quote  #5 
Why not 2 bar charts? One showing percent GDP broken down by country, and then a second with each country further broken down by agriculture, industry and services?
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