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Slightly better visualizations, Round 4

February 25, 2011

Ok, one more, then I’ll stop! This one’s also going on the front page, because I did this one from scratch. Here’s a visualization (or “infographic,” which is kind of a stupid term) of the lengths of Beethoven symphonies (click for hi-res version).

beethoven symphonies visualization

This one tries to conform to Edward Tufte’s principles of good design. The gridlines every 2:00 are implicit, and I tried to eliminate “chartjunk.” I think it’s an effective example of a small multiple: the design strategy for one symphony is repeated for all the others. There’s also a lot of data here; you can get general trends just by the length of the bars (it’s easy to see how ridiculously long the last symphony is, comparatively), and you can get specific data by looking at the data inside the bars. It would probably me more effective if I averaged data across multiple recordings, but then I’d have to go to the library instead of sitting around at home and doing it.

That’s all for now…maybe some more blog posts this weekend, but I think I’ve pretty much filled my quota for the month!

One Comment leave one →
  1. February 25, 2011 5:24 pm

    Nice! This is an excellent design. I love the invisible gridlines. Good choice.

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