Exploratory Data Visualization: United Nations Human Development Index
The United Nations Development Program is putting on a data visualization contest to based on its own human development data. Since I’m enrolled in a Data Visualization with D3 MOOC, I thought this dataset might be a good dataset to use for the class exercises. But until we get further into the course to learn D3, I thought it might be useful to do some exploratory data visualization analysis using Processing to evaluate various data visualizations to try to represent.
HDI Exploratory Data Visualization 1:Line Graphs
In this first exploration, each country is represented by a line in a line graph for 34 years of data. It’s does a decent job of showing the collective trends of all of the countries, but there’s too much clutter to make it useful for evaluating one country or comparing countries. A dropdown menu to select and highlight a particular country while fading the others would help this one out.
HDI Exploratory Data Visualization 2
The second visualization is very similar to the first, except each the HDI values for each country and each year are represented as small rectangles rather than continuous curves. A bit less cluttered, but it suffers from the same drawbacks as the first and could use menus and filters to interactive with the graph to help the user highlight points of interest.
HDI Exploratory Data Visualization 3: Heat Map
The third example is a heat map, where the rows are the countries and the columns are the years. Each year for each country is color-coded to represent the HDI value. I think it’s an improvement over the previous two, but color isn’t the best way for our brains to make comparisons so it’s got limitations as well.
HDI Exploratory Data Visualization 4: Lollipop Chart