logo

Small multiple skyscrapers

Thursday 5 September 2002

I’m grateful to Christina for pointing out the SkyscraperPage, a site with a collection of thousands of scaled images of tall build­ings. You can select and sort them by location, height or age, and line them up for inspection. I think it’s a delightful use of small multiples, as Edward Tufte calls this form of display:

Brisbane's five tallest buildings, built or planned. [www.skyscraperpage.com].

At the heart of quantitative reasoning is a single ques­tion: ‘Compared to what?’ Small multiple designs, mul­ti­vari­ate and data bountiful, answer directly by visually en­forc­ing comparisons of changes, of the differences among objects, of the scope of alternatives. For a wide range of problems in data presentation, small multiples are the best design solution.

Illustrations of postage-stamp size are indexed by category or a label, sequenced over time like the frames of a movie, or ordered by a quantitative variable not used in the single image itself. Information slices are positioned within the eyespan, so that viewers make comparisons at a glance​—​uninterrupted visual reasoning. Constancy of design puts the emphasis on changes in data, not changes in data frames. [Quoted from Envisioning information.]

filed under Architecture + Design + The web

comment on this article by private email

Search marquis-kyle.com.au

Serendipity
A small camera
The Fritz collection
circusmuseum.nl
Shovel collection
Fruit crate labels
Bernd Becher, 1931-2007

Monthly archive
2017 A M F J
2016 D N O S A J J M A M F J
2015 D N O S A J J M A M F J
2014 D N O S A J J M A M F J
2013 D N O S A J J M A M F J
2012 D N O S A J J M A M F J
2011 D N O S A J J M A M F J
2010 D N O S A J J M A M F J
2009 D N O S A J J M A M F J
2008 D N O S A J J M A M F J
2007 D N O S A J J M A M F J
2006 D N O S A J J M A M F J
2005 D N O S A J J M A M F J
2004 D N O S A J J M A M F J
2003 D N O S A J J M A M F J
2002 D N O S A J J M A M F J
2001 D N

Subject archive
Archaeology
Architecture
Collecting
Conservation
Design
Environment
Food
History
Lighthouses
Maps
Me
Photography
Prints
Ratbags
Reviews
Society
Technology
The web
This site
Tools
Typography
Words

About marking time

RSS

©
Contact me