Thursday, September 15, 2011

Appropriate Scales

Paul Krugman has a clever post about where to start a Y-axis of a graph from. He plots the temperature changes of New York . . . in kelvins. The result is a graph that makes it seem like New York has very small variations across the year.

On the other hand, very small variations can look large if the axes covers only the range of variation. The real piece of information that is missing is what is the size of a meaningful change. Maybe we should have graphs declare this extra piece of information so that this point can be discussed along with the variation shown in the graph, itself,

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