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Making Better Figures [Video]

Better Figures made a video! The video offers some tips for making better figures. We cover: A brief history of statistical graphics [02:20] Everybody loves a bad figure [08:10] Some principles [11:35] Making better timeseries (applying those principles) [13:13] Projection distortion [18:00] Better Palettes [18:46] We need to talk about “Rainbow” [23:30] Design, and design […]

End of the rainbow

Note: Better Figures is proud to support Ed Hawkins at Climate Lab Book, in calling for an end to the “Rainbow” palette. The text of an open letter to the climate science community, led by Ed, is reproduced below. An open letter to the climate science community Ed Hawkins, Doug McNeall, David Stephenson, Jonny Williams […]

Better Timeseries

Better Figures was very happy to be invited to the Scott Polar Research Institute, to give a talk on data visualisation to the UK Polar network of early career scientists. The talk leant heavily on the advice from The Visual Display of Quantitative Information, by Edward Tufte. One of the original bits however, was a sequence […]

How to strip meaning from graphs

A fantastic example of how to strip meaning from a graph this week, in this little beauty from Christopher Booker in the Telegraph. “Look at the graph” he says “to see the evidence of global warming”. Just look at it. Pretty unimpressive, eh? Regular readers won’t really need me to point out just how silly […]

The pump handle

Every so often, a graphic comes along that does something so nicely, that it would seem churlish to criticise it. This is one of those times. So, we take our hats off to the people at the Earth System Research Laboratory, for creating this rather wonderful video showing the concentration of atmospheric carbon dioxide over […]

Too much information?

Do GCM’s (sic) predict the climate… or macroweather? Ask Lovejoy et. al, in a paper submitted to Earth System Science Dynamics Discussions, and pointed out to Better Figures by the unholy trio of Richard Betts, Ed Hawkins and John Kennedy. I don’t really want to comment too much on the science here, as that might […]

Decadal Temperatures

My colleague John Kennedy has asked for some feedback on this figure, showing the evolution of global average temperatures, since the 1850s. The data is from HadCRUT3, and is averaged into decades. I like this figure a lot. I think it is clear and crisp; the colours have appropriate cultural meanings; the rise in global temperatures is captured […]