Back to Parent

My "calendar" chart should not only show how people eat much more fast food now than a few decades ago, but also how fast food in current times is most likely correlated to more health problems, due to the greater amount of preservatives and chemicals in fast food today.

This calendar format expresses a great deal of data in a small, understandable area. It allows a viewer to compare data, and also to focus in on specific statistics if he or she chooses. It also expresses statistics to the viewer in a way that shows unhealthy eating and fast food consumption is a problem for one's health.

Feedback from my group helped me to express the data I have chosen in a more clear and concise way. I was having difficulties incorporating the proportion of people in each category of fast food consumption in a way that would not clutter the graph or be overwhelming to a viewer. Changing the thickness of the lines in the graph solved this problem.

Connecting to the readings:

1. My goal in this project was to provide information representation that is presentational. I wanted to present the facts in a way that others can understand and make their own decisions about, since I feel this would be the best way to address the problem I have chosen. An example of presentational information representation in the reading by Tufte is on page 19 in a graphic showing statistics about weather in New York City. My information representation is on a different topic, but it also is simply presenting the facts in a simple way.

2. Much like Charles Joseph Minard's Napoleon Map, I used thickness of lines in my graph to represent another aspect of the information; adding another dimension without cluttering the graph.

3. On page 31 of the Tufte reading, he mentions the idea of "small multiples", in which the design of a graph is repeated over several smaller "slices". He points out that "once viewers understand the design of one slice, they have immediate access to the data in all the other slices". I incorporated this in my design not only by repeating the same type of graph for each year, but also by structuring each of the "weeks" corresponding to health problems in my graph in the same way. My hope is that this will make my graph easier to understand.

4. Tufte claims that "Graphical displays should reveal the data at several levels of detail, from a broad overview to the fine structure". I incorporated this by allowing a viewer to just view the "calendar" which is less detailed, but also by allowing a more curious viewer to hover over the days to find numerical and precise information.

5. Tufte notes how data representations tell stories. My project does this by allowing a viewer to look through data over the past few decades, and observe how fast food consumption habits have changed.

Note: Cover image from

Content Rating

Is this a good/useful/informative piece of content to include in the project? Have your say!