Design.

Posted: December 16, 2010 in Misc., People, Places
Tags: , , , , , ,

Today’s post was meant to be a follow-up to yesterday’s post about that Facebook connections info-graphic. Isn’t really.

Whilst we were discussing the post, Dan pointed me to this interesting article on BBC about an analysis of land-line calls in UK. Interesting. Not new.

Being a subscriber to The Economist, I had just a few days earlier read this article based on the same study by the bunch at MIT. Good to know other people also know how to analyse connections on a map. Kidding. Still, nothing new.

What I found interesting was how the two very British news organisations presented the same data in two very different styles. No, not the text, I’m talking about the maps. Have a look at them below:

UK connections, by BBC

The Economist stuck to its well defined map style, using an overlay of conservative pastels and grid-aligned boundary lines. BBC, on the other hand, has used a jazzy mix of colours in a flurry mashup of connections. Contrasting, isn’t it?

I’m not sure which one I like more. The Economist one is much easier on the eye and easier to understand on a quick glance. The BBC one, on the other hand, is definitely more attractive and, if you’re willing to look more closely, also conveys a lot more information1.

Which one do you like? Why? Any other presentation format you’d have preferred over these two?


1 For instance, the lightly coloured grid points indicate which areas could have low population density – much of north & north-east Scotland, central Wales, Lake District and northern Cornwall.
Similarly a lot of local/sub-regional clusters can be made out – Western highlands & Speyside in Scotland, south of Wales, clusters around Birmingham, Manchester-Liverpool, Newcastle and Leeds.
Also, how the big cities belonging to each cluster have strong connections with London. But have barely any connections to each other!
But then, anyone who knows even a little about UK would know these bits even without this chart, right? So, is it helpful?

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