The Good & the Bad [3/2006]

This time no fancy graph, but a nice example of “less can be more”. I took this month’s example from the R Graph Gallery.
Here’s “The Bad”:

Above graphics tries to depict a r by s table in a 3-d view.
Uwe’s example has several problems

  • The 3-d view make a judgement of the heights almost impossible
  • The chosen view point (seems to be the default) puts 2 to 3 bars into a row, which makes it even harder to read the plot
  • What does the gray shading of the bars mean?
  • Why use meaningless random data for the example … (if there is nothing to interpret in the data, it is hard to prove that the plot has problems in interpreting the data displayed)

“The Good” uses Bertin’s “Accident” data. It is a simple fluctuation diagram of Age vs. Vehicle which performs very well to display simple tables:

Sizes of tiles are simply proportional to the counts in the category. Patterns and trends are easy to depict, though it lacks the fancy 3-d property …

(There will be a “Statgraphics 101” on Mosaic plots and alike soon …)

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