Sometimes the y-axis doesn’t start at zero, and it’s fine

Posted to Design  |  Tags: ,  |  Nathan Yau

It’s true. Sometimes it’s okay for the y-axis to start at a non-zero value, which is why Johnny Harris and Matthew Yglesias for Vox tell people to shut up about the y-axis.

The video might seem contradictory to what I said about bar chart baselines, but we basically say the same thing. The context must match the visual, charts that don’t use length as the visual encoding can start at non-zero baselines, and take a second before you sputter a knee-jerk reaction.

Favorites

Pizza Place Geography

Most of the major pizza chains are within a 5-mile radius of where I live, so I have my pick, …

Best Data Visualization Projects of 2016

Here are my favorites for the year.

Causes of Death

There are many ways to die. Cancer. Infection. Mental. External. This is how different groups of people died over the past 10 years, visualized by age.

The Best Data Visualization Projects of 2011

I almost didn’t make a best-of list this year, but as I clicked through the year’s post, it was hard …