Archive for February, 2014


For our first Data Visualization class of the Spring 2014 semester our professor gave us a problem to solve in twenty minutes: visualize the numbers 10, 30 and 60 using materials he provided such as colored cotton balls of various sizes, crayons, popsicle sticks, pipe cleaners, etc. We were to draw inspiration from a blog post by the website titled¬†45 Ways to Communicate Two Quantities.¬†The class split into teams of 3 people each and solved the problem in various ways, all of which can be seen on this Flickr page. My group solved the problem by deciding that the numbers 10, 30 and 60 represented specific colors on the HSB spectrum. At 100% saturation and 100% brightness the hues represented red(10), orange(30) and yellow(60). We were lucky that some of the materials matched these colors. For the second dimension we attempted to work proportionally as 10+30+60=100. So the proportions are 1/10, 3/10 and 3/5. We used a pipe cleaner 30mm long and divided it into sections according to these proportions which were 3mm, 9mm and 18mm. We then were able to use this as a guide for the amount of each colored material as is evident in the photo above. In the photo above red takes up about 10% while orange takes up about 30% and yellow takes up about 60% of the total materials used. Given more time than 20 minutes this data-viz could be refined and made more accurate. There are an infinite number of iterations to visualize such a concept as is evident in my other classmate’s work on the Flickr page.