Ghost Counties

Ghost Counties

This visualization was created for the Eyeo Festival visualization challenge. The challenge was to have a creative approach in showing 2010 US Census data, preferably not as map. What you see here is housing data for all counties in the US, actually as a scatterplot. Here are some instructions and things to note:



  • the y-axis shows population. Note the logarithmic scale
  • the x-axis for the bubbles shows the number of vacant homes per population
  • the outer circle of the bubble shows the total number of homes
  • the inner bubble shows the vacant number of homes
  • each bubble has a line that connects the bubble to yet another scale: the population / total home ratio
  • you can use the left- and right arrow keys to browse through all the states (make sure that the Applet has the focus; if not, click once on the Applet with your mouse to give it focus). 
  • if you move your mouse over a bubble, you can highlight an individual bubble, and at the top right you can see some exact numbers for your selection

There are some interesting things to look for:

  • counties that have more homes than people
  • or, counties that have more than 50% vacant homes



(Click the fullscreen button to see the live Applet. The live Applet is 8Mb due to the size of the data, so just wait until the data has been loaded)


  • UPDATE: Check out the related blog post and Flickr set with sketches that led to this visualization.

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kimducharme's picture

Fantastic — brings out an interesting story, and beautifully done.

vimuso's picture

nice work!

Posted May 15, 2011
Views: 10155
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