Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Economic Stress

This visualization creatively displays the US's economic stress index based on unemployment, foreclosures, and bankruptcy. Instead of simply having a table with columns city and ESI for instance, by using a map, viewers can immediately recognize which states are suffering the most by shade of color. According to the key, as the brown fades, the ESI gets better and as it darkens, it gets worse. At first glance, overall it's clear that the west coast states, California, Oregon, and Washington are suffering the most compared to the rest of the US. It's also helpful that a handful of major cities are labeled as well, "pop out", for easier comparison, but there are certainly improvements which can be made.

Three variables are taken into consideration, but a viewer is unable to determine the percentage contribution of each individual variable. If a viewer is interested in a particular city, like mentioned, only a few are labeled, so it would be very difficult to obtain that information. To solve this, the visualization could be interactive- when the viewer scrolls over a city, have a pop up box to display city and ESI breakdown. There's obviously a lot of information and this visualization could utilize suppression of information as well.

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