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Gapminder compound chart

Current rating 2.8/5 Impact: 3Accuracy: 35 votes
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Gapminder compound chart
Interactive/animated multiple-axis chart used on Gapminder site, here showing % Urban Population plotted against Life Expectancy.
Visual types
Level of expertise
Interactive features
User can select 3 axes, axis scale, countries to show/trace, and can opt to plot trails.
Benefits & pitfalls to avoid
  • Using area or volume to represent data can distort data values, and exaggerate differences between values. For example, if the radius of the circle is used to represent data values, the area of the circle will quadruple if the data values double. There is also an issue of 'perceptual scaling' - the tendency of people to underestimate areas.
Create your own
  • Animations can be created in a range of standard data applications such as Excel, with the output saved for each different time-point, and an image editor or language such as Adobe Flash used to splice them into an animation. Online tools include Google Motion Charts.
  • Bubble charts can be created in a range of standard data applications such as Excel.