Comments on: Chart help needed: How to show proportion between two values?
http://ask.metafilter.com/233257/Chart-help-needed-How-to-show-proportion-between-two-values/
Comments on Ask MetaFilter post Chart help needed: How to show proportion between two values?Wed, 16 Jan 2013 06:48:41 -0800Wed, 16 Jan 2013 06:52:47 -0800en-ushttp://blogs.law.harvard.edu/tech/rss60Question: Chart help needed: How to show proportion between two values?
http://ask.metafilter.com/233257/Chart-help-needed-How-to-show-proportion-between-two-values
What type of chart do I want to show that one number is several times as many as another? <br /><br /> Putting a tall bar representing value x next to short bar representing value y shows that x is greater than y by x-y. (I realize that's a bit of an oversimplification.) What's the best way to show that x is greater than y by x/y times? I would love some examples.<br>
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Bonus question that I should really know the answer to: if x-y is the "linear" relationship, what is x/y? Neither the "geometric" relationship nor the "proportional" relationship sound right to me.post:ask.metafilter.com,2013:site.233257Wed, 16 Jan 2013 06:48:41 -0800Sock Ray BluechartsgraphsdataanalysisvisualizationchartgraphproprtionBy: FrereKhan
http://ask.metafilter.com/233257/Chart-help-needed-How-to-show-proportion-between-two-values#3378292
You could take your bar graph, and label the axes in multiples of Y (rather than whatever the base units are).comment:ask.metafilter.com,2013:site.233257-3378292Wed, 16 Jan 2013 06:52:47 -0800FrereKhanBy: odinsdream
http://ask.metafilter.com/233257/Chart-help-needed-How-to-show-proportion-between-two-values#3378297
It sounds like you want a <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Logarithmic_scale">logarithmic scale plot.</a><br>
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<a href="http://www.printfreegraphpaper.com/">Here's a place to make such graph paper</a>comment:ask.metafilter.com,2013:site.233257-3378297Wed, 16 Jan 2013 07:00:31 -0800odinsdreamBy: Johnny Assay
http://ask.metafilter.com/233257/Chart-help-needed-How-to-show-proportion-between-two-values#3378310
<i>... if x-y is the "linear" relationship, what is x/y?</i><br>
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I would just call it the "ratio". I can't think of a phrase of the form "[foo] relationship" either.comment:ask.metafilter.com,2013:site.233257-3378310Wed, 16 Jan 2013 07:15:13 -0800Johnny AssayBy: entropone
http://ask.metafilter.com/233257/Chart-help-needed-How-to-show-proportion-between-two-values#3378312
Calibrate this based on your intended audience carefully. A lot of people have trouble with logarithms.<br>
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I would design something that shows y filling x a certain number of times. kind of like if you were to visually represent "it would take 200 [or whatever] Rhode Islands to fill up the United States of America."comment:ask.metafilter.com,2013:site.233257-3378312Wed, 16 Jan 2013 07:16:34 -0800entroponeBy: Sock Ray Blue
http://ask.metafilter.com/233257/Chart-help-needed-How-to-show-proportion-between-two-values#3378316
Sorry, should have specified that my intended audience is pretty unsophisticated. Think USA Today reader.comment:ask.metafilter.com,2013:site.233257-3378316Wed, 16 Jan 2013 07:19:25 -0800Sock Ray BlueBy: MuffinMan
http://ask.metafilter.com/233257/Chart-help-needed-How-to-show-proportion-between-two-values#3378328
Do you need a graph for your audience?<br>
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For example, if x is 5.5 times bigger than Y, could you show 5.5 of something compared to 1 of the other in an infographic. Or just the text, like "1 : 5.5"<br>
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If you do have to use a graph, be aware that people tend to look at things by surface area and dimensions if it present. So if you want to show that x is 5.5 more than y then your surface area and height/size should reflect that. It is one reason why, thanks to the vagaries of Pi, circles are bad at showing proportional relationships.<br>
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I would also avoid logarithms. Generally an unnecessary complication where you're presenting to an audience.comment:ask.metafilter.com,2013:site.233257-3378328Wed, 16 Jan 2013 07:37:23 -0800MuffinManBy: kiltedtaco
http://ask.metafilter.com/233257/Chart-help-needed-How-to-show-proportion-between-two-values#3378333
<em>Putting a tall bar representing value x next to short bar representing value y shows that x is greater than y by x-y.</em><br>
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Disagree. The ratio of the two items is pretty clear from such a plot, as long as your axes go all the way to zero.<br>
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The alternative is just to plot the ratio of the two items. You don't need or want any fancy type of plot. In fact, if you're only comparing two items total, I'd say you don't need a plot at all.comment:ask.metafilter.com,2013:site.233257-3378333Wed, 16 Jan 2013 07:47:02 -0800kiltedtacoBy: ceribus peribus
http://ask.metafilter.com/233257/Chart-help-needed-How-to-show-proportion-between-two-values#3378424
<i>... could you show 5.5 of something compared to 1 of the other in an infographic ... </i><br>
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Seconding this approach. They're called <a href="http://www.google.com/images?q=pictograph+example">pictographs</a>.comment:ask.metafilter.com,2013:site.233257-3378424Wed, 16 Jan 2013 08:56:09 -0800ceribus peribusBy: odinsdream
http://ask.metafilter.com/233257/Chart-help-needed-How-to-show-proportion-between-two-values#3378502
You could do an area display like <a href="http://xkcd.com/radiation/">this radiation chart</a>, where one area encloses the other. This immediately gets across the sense that something is X times bigger than something else.comment:ask.metafilter.com,2013:site.233257-3378502Wed, 16 Jan 2013 09:54:11 -0800odinsdreamBy: alphanerd
http://ask.metafilter.com/233257/Chart-help-needed-How-to-show-proportion-between-two-values#3378519
How about a bar graph with the larger bar divided into sections that are the same size as the smaller bar? You could also add a second y-axis that just has tick marks at intervals the same size as the smaller bar.comment:ask.metafilter.com,2013:site.233257-3378519Wed, 16 Jan 2013 10:02:45 -0800alphanerdBy: alphanerd
http://ask.metafilter.com/233257/Chart-help-needed-How-to-show-proportion-between-two-values#3378797
Just had some more thoughts on this question. If you're looking at a bunch of different (x, y) pairs, you can say that x and y "vary directly" or "exhibit direct variation" if y/x is always a constant value. This is a special kind of linear relationship, one where the "y intercept" of the graph would be zero.<br>
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Over a bunch of different values, you could use the x axis to represent x, the y values to represent y, and the fact that they were related proportionally would be reflected in the fact that the slope of the graph is constant and that y is 0 when x is 0.comment:ask.metafilter.com,2013:site.233257-3378797Wed, 16 Jan 2013 13:15:36 -0800alphanerd