Monday, June 18, 2018

Death from Alcoholism

Mike Bostock has written up a great introduction into the different methods that you can use to compare the difference between two different values in a mapped data visualization. To illustrate the methods of comparison he has used Deaths from Alcohol Use Disorders in 1980 and 2014. To illustrate the difference in the number of deaths from alcohol between these two dates he has created a series of interactive maps, each of which uses a different method to visualize the same data.

Methods of Comparison, Compared is published on Observable, Mike's platform for exploratory data analysis. Observable is not only a platform for data analysis, visualization, and exploration. It is also a platform for teaching and sharing techniques in coding and creating better data visualization. 'Methods of Comparison, Compared' is a great example of this, as it not only includes a number of interactive choropleth maps but also explores and explains the methodology used in their creation.

In comparing the change in the number alcohol related deaths in each U.S. county between 1980 and 2014 it is possible to use a number of different methods. 'Methods of Comparison, Compared' shows three different choropleth maps, each of which uses a different method. These are a map showing the simple difference in the number of deaths between the two dates, a second map which shows the relative change and a third map which shows the ratio.

Each method results in a different mapped visualization of the same data. Each method has its own advantages and disadvantages.

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