Site: Doug McNeall

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Doug McNeall: Better figures awards?

After seeing John Kennedy’s new visualisation of warming by latitude, Richard Erskine (@essaysconcern) suggested that there should be awards for climate visualisation. We heartily agree here at Better Figures, there is so much excellent work going on that should be highlighted, celebrated and shared. We could certainly do an annual round up of the best

2017-09-28 14:18   Click to comment

Doug McNeall: New adventures in global temperatures

I caught up with Met Office data visualiser extraordinaire (and old chum), Neil Kaye, to talk about the process of making his new plot on visualising global temperatures, and why he made certain decisions. Here is the plot: Doug: What gave you the idea for the plot, what was the inspiration? Neil: Originally the idea was

2016-08-23 16:42   Click to comment

Doug McNeall: A class act

A really nice example of the use of colour in a map here. The image is from a new paper on the relationships between cold weather, influenza and mortality in Nature Climate Change (ht Ed Hawkins). The authors have chosen a simple monochrome palette, and the map is clear from any distracting clutter. I guess

2016-07-12 10:05   Click to comment

Doug McNeall: A significant achievement

What an achievement! Yesterday, the lovely perceptually accurate open source colour palette, Viridis (we discussed it here) turned up in a major paper. The paper itself was on some gravity discovery or something, but we need to focus on what’s important here. Well done everyone.  

2016-02-12 15:09   Click to comment

Doug McNeall: Legislating for better information design

It turns out that my infant son has a milk allergy (not intolerance). He’ll probably grow out of it, but in the meantime we have to be careful not to feed him anything that might contain cow’s milk. This is much easier since 2014, as the UK’s food labelling laws changed so that allergens must

2015-10-06 09:38   Click to comment

Doug McNeall: Better Figures does RMetS at the ECMWF

That’s Royal Meterological Society at the European Centre for Medium Range Weather Forecasting. We had an afternoon of Visualisation of Meterological data, part of the ECMWF visualisation week, and Better Figures was lucky enough to be invited to present (download the slides). ECMWF was great, in that they have preserved the 1970’s decor beautifully, alongside

2015-10-02 09:39   Click to comment

Doug McNeall: Joaquin In Rainbows

At the time of writing, the US media is tracking Hurricane Joaquin, and trying to predict whether it will make landfall in the US over the next few days. There are lots of great visualisations, but one thing that this event does highlight is just how many different types of rainbow colour palette there are.

2015-10-01 16:40   Click to comment

Doug McNeall: All the rules you could need

People like to put together lists of rules for making better visualisations. In the published literature, I can find a couple of good examples. Rougier et al. (2014) offers some high level advice and Keheller & Wagener (2011) some slightly lower level (more practical/detailed) tips. In the blogs and on the web, there are 7 tips

2015-09-24 11:01   Click to comment

Doug McNeall: A welcome development for matplotlib

Here is a great video, describing viridis, the new default colourmap for matplotlib in the programming language Python. This has some great features – It’s perceptually uniform across its range, it’s pretty, and it works for the colourblind. Oh, and you’re free to use it. The last five minutes or so describe the process and thinking

2015-07-10 11:20   Click to comment

Doug McNeall: Picking a colour scale for scientific graphics

Here are some recommendations for making scientific graphics which help your audience understand your data as easily as possible. Your graphics should be striking, readily understandable, should avoid distorting the data (unless you really mean to), and be safe for those who are colourblind. Remember, there are no really “right” or “wrong” palettes (OK, maybe

2015-06-23 09:45   Click to comment

Doug McNeall: Making Better Figures [Video]

Better Figures made a video! The video offers some tips for making better figures. We cover: A brief history of statistical graphics [02:20] Everybody loves a bad figure [08:10] Some principles [11:35] Making better timeseries (applying those principles) [13:13] Projection distortion [18:00] Better Palettes [18:46] We need to talk about “Rainbow” [23:30] Design, and design

2015-03-30 10:15   Click to comment


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