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Posted by on Jun 7, 2010 in Resources, Visualisation | 0 comments

Top 60 Chinese Cities

Top 60 Chinese Cities

Cities are one of the many phenomena that follow a long-tailed distribution. In simple terms there are a few big cities and lots of small ones. The classic way of showing a long tailed distribution (and the method from which the name is taken) is to produce as plot such as that below: The infographic at the top of the post by chinfographics.com demonstrates the distribution in a more engaging and constructive way. One method I have used in the past to demonstrate data with a long tailed distribution is the excellent Wordle tool. I have created a Wordle (below) for the same data (downloaded from Chinfographics). Whilst it does not compete with the Chinfographics infographic in terms of quality,  I still think Wordles provide a very simple, and effective, method of displaying data with a “long...

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Posted by on Feb 9, 2010 in Surnames, Visualisation | 0 comments

A "Global" Surname Cloud

A "Global" Surname Cloud

The WorldNames Profiler was created by my supervisors and fellow members of my research group. Behind the project is a large database containing surnames from 26 countries. Following the effectiveness of the surname clouds I produced for Great Britain I have used the Wordle tool to produce a cloud for the 500 most frequent names in the WorldNames Database. Each name has been scaled by its occurrence so that more frequent names are larger. It seems that within our data British and Spanish surnames...

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Posted by on Feb 9, 2010 in Surnames, Visualisation | 0 comments

Great Britain’s Surname Cloud

Great Britain’s Surname Cloud

As part of the research group that created the National Trust Surnames Profiler I have access to a comprehensive database of surnames in Great Britain. Most of my analysis on this database is spatial so I thought I would look at non-spatial way of illustrating the fact that in Britain the majority of people have a rare surname and that there are relatively few “popular”. This distribution is often referred to as having a long tail, as can be seen from the graph below. I find this graph lacks impact and novelty and it is hard to label a meaningful number of names along the x-axis. The surname clouds above have a greater impact by clearly demonstrating the popularity of a few surnames, such as Smith and Jones, in Britain and the large numbers of rarer surnames. I have only included the top 500 names for clarity. Comparisons between 1881 and 2001 are interesting. It would appear that the big names, such as Smith, dominate less now than they...

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