Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Economic Stress Index 2008-2009

I found this visualization to be interesting because it combines different attributes such as the impact of unemployment, foreclosures and bankruptcy of each county in the country into one visualization calculated as the economic stress index.This graph is good for visualizing trends and seeing which areas seem to be suffering the most (the more brown- the worse it is, the more blue- the better). One great value I see from this visualization is the vast amount of information revealed while making a complicated concept easy to visualize. Also, the way it is presented makes the topic interesting so the viewer wants to explore the data. Another great feature about this graph is that it is to scale and not distorted, making it easier for the user to make overall impressions of the trends. Moreover, the representation is clear on which counties and states in general are suffering the most. One of the faults I found is that even though there is color consistency, the graph is too cluttered with too many different colors because it is comparing counties. I think it would be better instead if it was calculated by region or perhaps if it had a scale with different ranges and colors corresponding to those ranges. Color contrasts could have been used in a better way as well.

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