Better Dashboards

Working with Microsoft enterprise chart, dashboard and reporting technologies.

Posts Tagged ‘Bubble Charts’

Maps in .NET Using Charts?

Posted by milang on February 2, 2009

Microsoft does not provide any built-in data visualization solutions for maps, and outside of Dundas Map for .NET, there aren’t any good .NET mapping tools currently available, so I set out to create an equivalent mapping visualization using a bubble chart.

In theory, the bubble chart should show the relationship between two variables, with an important twist: in addition to defining the x and y variables, you can also define the size of the bubble.  This is relevant when we are graphing world data because size becomes a third dimension, sort of like an imaginary z-axis on the chart.

My idea was to take the “health vs. wealth” graph shown in Hans Rosling’s TED presentation on third-world myths and put it into the chart.  I graphed infant mortality rate (defined as the rate of deaths per 1000 births) vs. GDP (PPP) per capita.  I even set the x-axis to be logarithmic like Hans did in the presentation.

After struggling for several hours with it, the result wasn’t as pretty as I thought it would be:
bubblechart1

Besides the fact that there appears to be a bug with setting fonts for axis titles on the chart, the USA bubble actually draws over some of the other bubbles.  The legend colors are too small and I had to hack around to get every point to be colored separately.

Bottom line is, the bubble chart is an epic fail as a substitute for a map when trying to visualize world data.  I guess it is back to pestering Microsoft for that .NET map component.  🙂

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