Exploding Bubbles: Visualizing Multidimensional Data

Exploding Bubbles: Visualizing Multidimensional Data

Multidimensional data is especially tricky to visualise because of the complexities of each data point, but if done properly, can provide real insight from the macro- as well as micro-level. A great example of this is the “exploding bubbles” technique, presented by Hans Rosling in a TED Talk from 2006 (http://www.ted.com/talks/hans_rosling_shows_the_best_stats_you_ve_ever_s...). Look for exploding bubbles starting from around 9m30s into the video.

Inspired by this, I developed the Exploding Bubbles application using Infragistics Silverlight and Silverlight Data Visualization controls.

On the left you will notice a pivot grid showing multidimensional data. On the right is a bubble chart, a visualisation of that data.

The pivot grid shows global “health and wealth” statistics. The data is plotted on the chart in the following way:

- Population is depicted by bubble size
- GDP Per Capita is depicted on the X-axis on a logarithmic scale
- Life Expectancy is depicted on the Y-axis on a linear scale

You can interact with the chart by:
- Left-clicking on bubbles to explode them
- Right-clicking on exploded bubbles to implode them
- You can also interact with pivot grid by expanding or collapsing rows - the bubble chart is synchronised with the pivot grid’s data.

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Posted Feb 9, 2012
Views: 4257
Tags Population, Economy, Healthcare
Tools Excel, Infragistics NetAdvantage for Silverlight, Infragistics NetAdvantage for Silverlight Data Visualization, Visual Studio 2010
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