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an infographic that is the sole focus & feature of a recent New York Times article, consisting of a set of Chernoff faces based on an annual register of managerial performance data of baseball managers. the collection of staring faces maps rates of bunting, stealing & pinch-hitting into hair sizes, nose shapes & smile widths. the visualization method communicates "distinctions with striking clarity", so that the data face of a Chicago Cubs manager "cowls & looks as if his hair might jump right off his scalp" as well is "intuitively" understandable.

infosthetics is confused about this attention, previously believing empirical research that showed the Chernoff method "lead[s] to slow, inaccurate answers being given with low confidence" (acm.org) & is "a serial process (not pre-attentive)" (purdue.edu)? more opinions about this method can also be found here (eagereyes.org).

[link: nytimes.com|via mindspill.org|thnkx Mike]




Chernoff faces? Of all things?

Who the hell even needs "empirical research" to tell them that these things are garbage. Faces are constructed to convey emotion, not complex data.

NYT usually has stellar infographics, so why this choice for representation?

This is worse than bad.

Tue 15 Apr 2008 at 11:10 AM
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