Understanding animated transitions in data visualization

Apr 2, 2018

Alec Barrett for TWO-N describes the benefits and some of the intricacies of animated transitions in data visualization.

This visual essay is inspired by the question: What is happening conceptually between the start and end of a transition? I look at reasons for using animated transitions (besides “it looks cool”) and at the kinds of variables that can be transitioned. I conclude that we can think of animated transitions in two categories: those where the space between the start and end states consists of real/realistic data and grammatically valid states for that visualization, and those where it does not.

The essay by the way was published on Observable, a new-ish way to publish “interactive notebooks for data analysis, visualization, and exploration.” Worth a look if you’re into publishing and sharing code.

Favorites

Watching the growth of Walmart – now with 100% more Sam’s Club

The ever so popular Walmart growth map gets an update, and yes, it still looks like a wildfire. Sam’s Club follows soon after, although not nearly as vigorously.

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.

Reviving the Statistical Atlas of the United States with New Data

Due to budget cuts, there is no plan for an updated atlas. So I recreated the original 1870 Atlas using today’s publicly available data.

10 Best Data Visualization Projects of 2017

It was a rough year, which brought about a lot of good work. Here are my favorite data visualization projects of the year.