Visualizing Movie Data | VMD_05 | Small comparisons

At this stage of our Visualizing Movie Data project, I want to see how far you can go with a reduced view of our movie data. How far can you reduce the decoration in exchange for the functional display of data. However, the readability must remain intact. What kind of problems can we expect? And perhaps more importantly … what are the solutions to those problems. In fact, the charts I post ever week on Facebook are my starting point. This is just a smaller variation of it.

What determines the smallest size of a single graph? I think that’s the longest movie title! In this case, the longest movie title is: ‘What happened Miss Simone?’. I now use a point size of 10 pixels. As a typeface I use Futura Bold. I reserve a square of 100 x 100 pixels for every movie. So for a hundred movies I need a display window of minimal 1000 x 1000 pixels. But I also need some margin. And I have to position a legend somewhere. The lines of the bars could be formed by dots. Dots you can count easily. 10 Dots stands for 10 points. 5 Dots stands for five points. But now some interesting effects pop-up. I can now draw 13 dots in width. And 13 dots in height. But this layout seems to form vertical lines with dots instead of horizontal lines. A side effect which is not what I was looking for. Furthermore, it seems that the text at the top of the square belongs to the graphic which is above the text. Also not a desirable effect.

13 Dots in width would be just right for several categories. But three dots disappear in height because my scores range from 0 to 10. So the solution could be that the movie titles would be displayed under the graphics. And I have to use vertically stacked points instead of horizontally. Because the points only reach 10 points in a few cases the movie titles will belong visually closer to dots that are displayed above the movie titles.

I have changed the generation of the movie data into a function. The positioning is resolved and becomes easier than it was in the previous chapter of this project. There are still some parts that need more attention. The height of the column of dots. The color and the placing of the movie title. When the dots have to display a 10 then the topmost dot slightly overlaps the rectangle of the graphic.

All data is used. A hundred movies as a dot graph. Right now you can not distinguish the categories. But what you can see is that a number of films that are top-rated. If the rectangle was completely filled with dots than the film would have scored only tens. Unfortunately, there is not one movie that has made it. There are now five films which scored very high: Locke, Mr. Turner, From What Is Before, ’71 and Lilting. Amour Fou is slightly below that score.

At the moment, the program displays a point for each dot. I’m going to turn into a circle. On a longer term that gives me more possibilities to make variations.

I have used a number of colors for the different columns. It’s a multiple of 30 in the 360 hue scale. But I find it looks cheap. In addition, some colors are too close together. The green series for example. And the dark blue disappears into the background color. And, some colors are hard to distinguish from others.

I have made a few variations of the existing color scheme. A number of these variations are not acceptable. The number of colors must be reduced. But perhaps I can do something with the brightness of the colors. The 13 columns are very difficult to distribute in different colors. The red column pops out. It appears to me that it means something special. But that is not the case. That is also the problem with the 3 degrees of brightness in the columns. Those seem to belong together. But that is also not true.

Now I am starting to look for a range of colors where each color stands on itself. But the range should be acceptable as a fine color range. A color may not have a relationship with the other colors. I replaced the circles by squares.

The squares can also be replaced by rectangles. I’ve also added a legend. Otherwise, the addition of color is absurd. I give the category texts in the legend the same color as the bars to which they belong in the graphic.

Just a few variations with broken lines, and rectangles, and transparency.

And the last variation. Totally non-functional. But it does make an interesting picture.


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