Wednesday, July 29, 2009

bad graphics

Not to get all Edward Tufte on you guys, but look at this graphic.

This graph is from Baseball Reference. I found it in a Tim Kurkjian ESPN article about pitch counts.

It looks like 120+ pitch starts (the green section) are rapidly increasing. but they aren't, they are, in fact, rapidly decreasing. The graphical representation has managed to convey exactly the opposite of reality, because of bad design. Time is running from right to left on the X axis. This is an error that should have been learned in 7th grade--that the X axis extends to infinity on the right, and larger, later units must be placed out there.

Confusing graphic born of sloppy work.


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Anonymous said...

or if you open your mind to the way a lot of graphical readers work in science, with historical data flowing out to the right, so the most recent is read immediately when your eye takes its natural left to right path, then the graph is fine. /rant

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