So this week’s infographics MOOC exercise was another draft for an interactive infographic, this time on the unemployment rate per state in the US. The assignment was based on another DataBlog post from The Guardian which showed a choropleth map of unemployment using data over the time of Obama’s presidency.
The biggest problem was that the data during that time looks nearly meaningless. It’s noisy, it has a vague downward trend, but you see this *blip* at the start where everything is jumping upwards. Those who remember the last five years’ worth of economic history better than I did will remember why – the insane crash all kicked in about half a year prior to Obama’s election.
So step one, I hunted down a wider data set via data.gov. Using the last 8-10 years’ worth of data gave a much more interesting picture and set the context for what was actually going on in the last four.
The end result was very close to what I wanted – my ideal needs just a couple more features (pop-up or overlay annotations on a line graph, a customized timeline control on the line graph) which may or may not ever show up in Tableau, so I guess I still have some motivation to learn a decent chart library in Processing.
You can see the published interactive at Tableau, but the line graph isn’t working, which is kind of lame since it was made using a technique they demonstrate in their own tutorial. Hopefully that gets fixed, but in the meantime I just screencasted from the desktop version for the assignment hand-in.