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This post was written by Gregor Aisch, a freelance information visualizer and part-time data journalist. He blogs at vis4.net and tweets under @driven_by_data.

Democracy by Numbers [arte.tv] is a beautiful series of infographics developed by the data visualization agency Dataveyes for the French-German television channel arte.tv. Since January, the TV network is broadcasting a series of documentaries highlighting 7 countries as they go through a change in their political system. The goal is to take the pulse of democracy in those countries, based on their history of government and social issues.

Léo Gourven, one of the 4 founders of Dataveyes, described the goal of the visualizations as follows: "Arte.tv asked us to create an engaging visualization which would support the documentaries, using authoritative, consistent datasets."

The infographics present a clever mix of highlighted key numbers, like the active years of political leaders and charts showing indicators like the spread of wealth or the participation of women in the parliament. Interestingly, the project also includes some uncommon democracy measurements like the internet and Facebook usage.

See also World Freedom Atlas.

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4 COMMENTS

I give it 9 out of 10 for aesthetics but maybe 2 for information. A bad balance. It is commonplace to hate pie charts, but they actually have some uses(not many, but some) In contrast the spider chart has no use in any way...ever. Just do not use it.

Thu 22 Mar 2012 at 9:36 AM
Jörgen Abrahamsson

They actually look like bulls-eyes! I think I like the conventional way too.

Sun 25 Mar 2012 at 4:04 PM

Hi,

I don't think for this case, pie charts could suit. This is not a 100% sum, but a different grade for each thematic.
This visualisation below is built with data from the Economist Democracy Index (http://www.eiu.com/public/topical_report.aspx?campaignid=DemocracyIndex2011) Each axis represent a different part of this index which mark countries for different criterions.

I used to hate spider chart, because they don't take into account that human eyes see shapes before a position on an axis. But, sometimes, I think we can use this kind of spider chart, when the shape can bring meaning. This is the case when all your criterion have a positive meaning when high, like in this example, because the size of the shape give some information about democracy.

Sun 25 Mar 2012 at 11:04 PM

Hi,

I don't think for this case, pie charts could suit. This is not a 100% sum, but a different grade for each thematic.
This visualisation below is built with data from the Economist Democracy Index (http://www.eiu.com/public/topical_report.aspx?campaignid=DemocracyIndex2011) Each axis represent a different part of this index which mark countries for different criterions.

I used to hate spider chart, because they don't take into account that human eyes see shapes before a position on an axis. But, sometimes, I think we can use this kind of spider chart, when the shape can bring meaning. This is the case when all your criterion have a positive meaning when high, like in this example, because the size of the shape give some information about democracy.

Sun 25 Mar 2012 at 11:05 PM
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