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Any complex visual will not translate into slides. A lot of Tufte's work would need to be reworked if someone wanted to present it in slide format. Presenting statistics on slides requires simplistic information design. I work in the litigation consulting sector of presentation design and we recreate these types of visuals often so that the jury can understand what the point or the message of the statistic is. Sometimes when using a slide alone as the visual it's easy to lose what's most important by preserving all the detail. The map is effective because it's relatable (although only for those who actually have visited this area). I would get rid of all the side street names, and mark the pump with an icon in one color, and then the deaths in another color (red would work great). Just adding color would instantly make those areas pop out. Only way to use black for deaths would be to use another faded color for the map itself. Even a 50% gray map would automatically de-clutter this visual. Another alternative would be to use spheres where the shape area is determined by the number of deaths. When creating a data based visual we always ask, What's the main point we're trying to show here. It's not the number of individual deaths at each residence, but rather the clusters around the pump, that's what the story is. Then decide what's the best way to show this information. -Magda Maslowska
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Jul 16, 2010