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“The spirals feel like the Austin Powers time machine”

Kaiser talks about an altogether different sort of superhero:


In his completely reasonable discussion, Kaiser forgets one truly mockable point, which is that the most notable, eye-catching features of the graphs are the flags. Chartjunk indeed.


  1. in virtuale says:

    uhh.. not spirals. They are circles.

    But why are the flags chartjunk? They are there as part of the task that newspapers have taken on to instill some basic geographical education into Americans.

    I don't think the Junkcharts people are justified in their withering criticisms of many of the charts they put down. Just because they don't like it doesn't mean it is bad. Seems a lot like whatever floats your boat man kind of thing to me.

  2. JF says:

    How does a flag tell us anything about geography?

    I think the Junkcharts criticize these charts based on how effectively and efficiently they convey the pertinent information. These are their criteria.*

    Your criteria might be different. If so, then their analyses are likely not relevant to your criteria.

    *Or something similar, I am assuming. I haven't spent much time on the website.

  3. in virtuale says:

    Geography is not just about contour maps. Flags tell a lot about a people. They have to, that's why those folks have chosen a particular arrangement of colours and symbols to represent them. They are quite pertinent to a geographic knowledge about a country.

    For example, look at China's. Red for communism, you might think, but the combination of red and yellow is quintessentially Chinese. One might also ask, why are there 5 stars? Why is one star so big? Why are the stars off to the corner? All these things say something about the place and its inhabitants.

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