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SWD week 01: maps

My 5 selections for this gallery. (Click any image to see creators process notes & viewer feedback/discussion in Storytelling With Data community.)

Into the World of Writing Systems | By Maxene Graze | 29 March 2021
Can Money Buy You Happiness? | By Katy Robertson | 7 March 2021
Deaths Due to Natural Disasters, 1900 to Present | By Solomon Thirumurugan | 3 March 2021

Max is going to do another major iteration on her World of Scripts infographic after our second critique session on it today. (Stay tuned; will add update here after she has uploaded it to SWD.)

50 Shades of Grape | By Ron Halliday | 31 March 2021
Most Beloved Pixar Movie in 2020! | By Kuan-Pei (Yuki) Lai | 3 March 2021
Tableau interactive version | Updated by K. Lai, per SWD community comments | 10 March 2021


  1. Choose different map projections to challenge viewers helpfully (with unfamiliarity / multiple approaches) and/or to reflect on the subject matter
  2. Focus attention by not showing all data (but clearly identify threshold criterion in headline); introducing focal countries in 2 stages
  3. Invite users in with a title question or prompt
  4. Facilitate understanding with consistent color cues throughout
  5. Choosing meaningful colors: blending with math! / mapping two variables
  6. Crafting accompanying text to explain meaningful design choices and highlight key findings
  7. Depicting fun categorical data with fun icons


  • Review considerations when visualizing death(s)
  • (Re)organize panels with clear logic (small multiples) or coherent narrative sequence (infographic sections) | Use the caption-each test to check for clear story
  • Label organizing logic where not readily obvious (e.g. descending count)
  • Orient legend logically for reading direction (here, L-to-R)
  • Disambiguate communicative choices (check that same/similar/dissimilar colors match same/similar/dissimilar relationship in what they represent)

Process note: Just assembling my Twitter content here with links and lightly reworded/grouped lists took ~50 minutes. Daily weekday tweets are cumulatively valuable. Next up: adaptations for mobile!

also revisit:

[digest my April 2 list by categories]