• Furloughed employees during shutdown

    October 9, 2013  |  Statistical Visualization

    Government shutdown

    Dan Delany took a simple look at furloughed employees due to the government shutdown. There are tickers for duration, estimated unpaid salary, and estimated food vouchers unpaid, but the main view is the interactive tree map that shows furloughed proportions by department.

    Data was nicely collated into one spreadsheet from a bunch of government-released PDF files (of course), and the code for the page is available on Github. [Thanks, Dan]

  • Treemap art

    September 11, 2013  |  Data Art

    Treemap art

    Ben Shneiderman invented the treemap in the 1990s to visualize the hierarchical contents of his hard drive. In the Treemap Art Project, Sheiderman approaches the tool from an artistic perspective. Each treemap in the 12-piece collection visualizes an actual dataset in a familiar artist's aesthetic.

    Colored rectangular regions have been a popular theme in 20th century art, most notably in the work of Piet Mondrian, whose work was often suggested to have close affinity with treemaps. Not all his designs are treemaps, but many are. His choice of colors, aspect ratios, and layout are distinctive, so simulating them with a treemap is not as trivial as you might think. Gene Davis' large horizontal paintings with vertical stripes of many colors were more easily generated with treemap layouts. The rectangles in Josef Albers “Homage to the Square” or Mark Rothko's imposing paintings are not treemaps, but generating treemap variants triggered further artistic explorations. Other modern artists such as Kenneth Noland, Barnett Newman, and Hans Hofmann gave further provocations to the images in this collection.

    [Thanks, Ben]

  • Exploratory treemap for Obama’s 2012 budget proposal

    February 15, 2011  |  Statistical Visualization

    Obama 2012 Budget proposal

    It's that time of year again. Obama recently released his 2012 budget proposal for how to allocate $3.7 trillion. It's complicated no doubt, but Shan Carter and Amanda Cox of the New York Times make it easier to understand with their interactive treemap. Rectangles are sized by proposed spending and colors indicate percent change from previous year. Darker red rectangles represent bigger drops from the 2011 budget and darker green greater increases. Zoom in and pan as you please.
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  • An Easy Way to Make a Treemap

    February 11, 2010  |  Tutorials

    Treemap

    Back in 1990, Ben Shneiderman, of the University of Maryland, wanted to visualize what was going on in his always-full hard drive. He wanted to know what was taking up so much space. Given the hierarchical structure of directories and files, he first tried a tree diagram. It got too big too fast to be useful though. Too many nodes. Too many branches.

    The treemap was his solution. It's an area-based visualization where the size of each rectangle represents a metric since made popular by Martin Wattenberg's Map of the Market and Marcos Weskamp's newsmap.

    Here's a really easy way to make your own treemap in just a couple lines of code. We're looking to make something like the above.
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