Background Maps

10月 312013
Halloween is here. It’s a time when the weather gets colder and the leaves fall from the trees. A time when kids dress up in fun costumes and go trick-or-treating. A time when we start thinking about how to spend the holidays with our family and friends. And if you’re like me, [...]
9月 202013
In preparation for the federal elections in Germany, the Federal Returning Officer has an interesting and important task: He needs to redraw the constituencies such that the number of constituencies in the individual Länder (states) corresponds as closely as possible to their share of the population. The population of a [...]
5月 102012
I've always enjoyed programming contests. I was a regular contestant and sometimes winner in MacTech magazine's Programmer's Challenge in the '90s where the fastest code wins, and I've been a longtime participant and now part-time administrator at Project Euler, where only correctness matters. For the past couple years, I've been [...]
9月 092011
The autumn lineup of live Mastering JMP webcasts is set. And if you are one of the 2,000+ JMP users who attended a live webcast during the first half of 2011, you'll notice some new topics: • Sept. 29: Finding the Best Predictive Model for Your Data • Oct. 6: [...]
6月 082011
Last week, SAS and JMP hosted Interface 2011: Statistical, Machine Learning, and Visualization Algorithms, 42nd Symposium on the Interface. The deep statistical issues were mostly over my head, but I found enough discussion of visualizations to keep me interested. Leland Wilkinson shared his recent research on Venn diagrams, which may find its way into JMP Genomics, where similar diagrams are already used for some results. I gave a presentation on some of the challenges JMP has faced integrating geographic map visualizations into an interactive statistical product.

Related to mapping, Dan Carr presented some of his work on "micromaps." I have his book, Visualizing Data Patterns with Micromaps, but it was very helpful to see the presentation and talk with him afterward. Micromaps incorporate small maps into arrangements that allow multivariate data exploration. He defines several types of micromaps, and it occurred to me that JMP can already approximate the conditional micromaps in Graph Builder.

Here is a pseudo-micromap of Europe colored by Human Development Index (HDI) for each country. HDI is a development measure used by the United Nations that combines life expectancy, education and income. The grouping variables condition the maps and make it easier to see the relationships between the grouping variables, the coloring variables and the countries.

Each country appears in one panel. In this case, we can see that lower HDI appears to be correlated with lower GDP per capita since countries in the top three panels are generally bluish, and because it's a map, we can also see that those countries are in eastern Europe. I don't see a similar pattern going across, suggesting median age is not correlated with HDI.

My mock-up misses some key micromap features, including
  • simple, reduced detail maps

  • enlarged tiny countries

  • sliders to adjust the grouping categories

  • categorical coloring to simplify comparison

We hope to address those with a JMP add-in. Let us know if you have a particular interest in micromaps.