— Kai-Uwe Stahl (@KaiUweStahl) 9. Mai 2014
I find this a very interesting topic, but struggeled to reasily read through the graphic and compare different cities with one another or to derive any patterns from it.
- at first you have to find city A > follow the line to the water prize bubble > then memorize the water price >find city B on the map > follow the line to the water price bubble > look at it’s water price, hopefully remember the one from A…if I try that I have to look from one back to the other several times
- that almost leads to my next problem: there are too many bubbles – I think it would have helped to not mark location of cities with bubbles as well, but with a square or whatever. Additionally, it would also help, if the city-location-bubble (or -square) had another colour than the water prize bubbles (which might be because of corporate design issues, but it’s really not helpful at all)
- and last, I’d like to question the whole bubble thing at all. I know they are quite famous, I know, it look kind of nice – but it doesn’t make comparisons easier, as we’re used to compare heighths – not surface areas. Especially as the range of all values is not that big and water prices differentiate by very accurate amounts – look at Berlin and Copenhagen for example. The price differs by almost one dollar, but the bubbles „appear“ to have more or less almost the same size.
For these reasons I decided to have my own try. However, I couldn’t find the data source Rapp was using (if anyone came across that or such data, please let me know in the comments!), which is why I then extracted it from his graphic and put in into a spreadsheet (also in case anyone else want to have a go on it).
I know, bar charts are not the most beautiful way of visuaziling information, but in this case it appeals to me as the most practible way. First thing I did was an overall ranking of all cities:
Most of the outcome is quite expectable, I would say – like having cities from Australia, Europe and North America on top of the ranking. Aside, I think it is remarkable that water price in Miami and Cape town is about the same. Also of interest: How can water in Jeddah be so cheap? One could go ahead and digg further into the water abundance, usage etc. of that city.
But from this graphic you still cannot properly read any patterns like regional trends for example. So I did a second bar chart for which I grouped cities of the same country together and then ranked among these groups:
What do you think of the original graphic and the redesigns? Have you another way of visualisation in mind instead of a map?