Last one out of the Kinjaverse, turn out the lights.

How to Lie with Color

If I ask you to interpret the above graphs, what would you tell me? What if I tell you I'm plotting temperature? Does your interpretation change given the figures below?


Colors play all sorts of tricks on people's perception of data, sometimes even accidentally nudging people towards an incorrect interpretation. Over at medium, Lawrence Weru writes about voting maps, specifically why the ever so popular Red-Purple-Blue maps kinda (ok totally) suck 'cause people's retina's aren't really made to see the purple as a neutral in between. Instead, people sorta recolor the purple as being more reddish when it's near very red and more blueish when it's near very blue. So instead, the author proposes using green to neutralize the purple, yielding a gray type color that gets tinted slightly blue or red depending on what's actually going on in the distance.

So besides thinking this is cool 'cause of the election implications, I think Weru is also giving a great example of the sort of ways it's really easy to accidentally lie with visualizations. So what are some of the viz lies you've stumbled on lately?

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