It’s day 4 of dashboard week and I am starting to fatigue. No matter! We push on.
Today’s dataset counts the number of cyclists riding through the roads of Seattle. Potentially very interesting for a Seattleite (/satellites) or a keen cyclist. For me, a person who learned to ride a bike at 12 and has hardly touched one since, it didn’t excite me. The data is as shown in Figure 1 below.
Looking at this dataset didn’t immediately give me ideas (well.. besides a map. But I’ve overdone that). So I decided to make a colourful infographic-type viz to make the cycling data pop. I did a quick google search on cycling infographics for inspiration and came across this one:
Why is Hawaii so far from the rest of the United States? Why is Canada in between Alaska and the rest of the United States?
Trying to get Alaska and Hawaii in a dashboard with the other 48 states can lead to lots of wasted, empty space (as seen in Figure 1). In this view, Alaska looks massive, with lots of space taken up by Canada to the right. Additionally, Hawaii is side-lined and mainland US is small with the details hard to see. Many times, Alaska and Hawaii are filtered out and disregarded completely in favour of a clear view of the remaining 48 states. However, doing this means leaving out potentially valuable information.
Is there a solution to this issue? Yes! In this blog post, I will go through a method I’ve used multiple times (Figure 2). Alaska, Hawaii and mainland USA are placed in three separate containers in a dashboard. Filters, highlighters, etc applied to one map will affect all three maps. This method eliminates much of the empty space between the lands and results in a functional and attractive way of representing all US states.