Bubble, bubble toil and trouble

January 15, 2009
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Recently we wanted to show how Concentrate, our new long-tail search analytics tool, could give you a view of search patterns across travel websites. As political junkies, we were inspired by this chart from our friends at the NY Times.

NY Times candidate word bubble chart

The first tool we tried, simply on principle, was Excel 2003. As expected, making a NY Times quality bubble chart in Excel 2003 is a hard problem. Here’s a draft of how far I got before giving in to label fatigue.

Excel NY Times bubble

The bubbles themselves aren’t tough, but getting the labels right is hard. I’d love to see a solution, so if any reader wants to tackle it eternal fame can be yours. Here is a CSV if you want to try.

travelpatterns.csv

Another of the tools we use at Juice is NodeBox, which we used to make this:

Concentrate pattern comparison

Here’s the code that made the graph.

The power of a programmatic approach like this is that by changing a line or two, you can get the following. Click for a larger version. Click the text for the code..

With g

Recently we wanted to show how Concentrate, our new long-tail search analytics tool, could give you a view of search patterns across travel websites.
As political junkies, we were inspired by this chart from our friends at the NY Times.


NY Times candidate word bubble chart

The first tool we tried, simply on principle, was Excel 2003. As expected, making a NY Times quality bubble chart in Excel 2003 is a hard problem. Here’s a draft of how far I got before giving in to label fatigue.

Excel NY Times bubble

The bubbles themselves aren’t tough, but getting the labels right is hard. I’d love to see a solution, so if any reader wants to tackle it eternal fame can be yours. Here is a CSV if you want to try.

travelpatterns.csv

Another of the tools we use at Juice is NodeBox, which we used to make this:

Concentrate pattern comparison

Here’s the code that made the graph.

The power of a programmatic approach like this is that by changing a line or two, you can get the following. Click for a larger version. Click the text for the code..

With great power comes a great need to exercise restraint. Otherwise you end up like these poor chaps. Must… flex… restraint… muscles…

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