Visualizing Very Large Numbers with

Methodology 1: 10216 as a amount of stuff

One mind-set about huge numbers is as an quantity of stuff. It will assist, as a result of the distinction between macro and micro permits us to throw away tons and many orders of magnitude, and it is these powers of 10 that stand between us and understanding how huge this quantity actually is. To begin with, let’s recall some portions that might be useful. One mole of carbon masses 12 grams, there are roughly 6 billion folks on earth, and the earth plenty 6*1024 kilograms. So right here is one methodology of visualization: 10216 is so huge that, should you had that many atoms of carbon, you possibly can give each individual on the planet a lump of coal that weighs as a lot because the earth. Now let us take a look at how huge that described amount truly is:

6*109 folks * 6*1027 grams of coal/individual * 1/12 moles/gram * 6*1023 atoms/mole = round 1060 atoms

Shit! That is means too low, and by means too low, I imply WAY too low. However it should serve to impress for now. Since I’ve already overly taxed my powers of visualizations with that “Earth’s mass of coal” factor, let’s hand over on this and take a look at methodology 2 for a bit.


2. Visualize numbers every time potential

Regardless that these examples aren’t utilizing knowledge visualizations, the icons and illustrations used do assist us join extra simply to the subject.

If you need to use an information visualization, please do. It should permit your viewers to transcend merely studying a quantity to creating sense of it.

Associated: What is Data Visualization? (Definitions, Examples, Best Practices)

If the quantity occurs to be small, like 20 or much less, you need to use a pictogram to point out the precise quantity.

This instance features a pictogram displaying the variety of days (out of the whole days in a month, which is nice context).

It additionally features a donut chart, which brings me to percentages. If you need to use a pictogram to point out percents too. Discover how this helps you actually see the quantity otherwise?

When speaking percentages, it’s typically very useful to precise them as charges, for instance as an alternative of fifty% you possibly can say 1 in 2. Right here is an instance of a pictogram that helps audiences see an approximate price coupled with the precise share.

The best way to Visualize a Proportion

There are a lot of methods to visualise percentages; as part of an entire they are often proven in quite a lot of totally different codecs.

One of the vital widespread and recognizable methods to visualise a share is a pie chart, of which donut charts are a variation.

Stacked bar graphs are one other solution to present percentages.

Pie Chart

Pie charts are a few of the most recognizable, and a few would say, most-overused kinds of visualization.

This example breaks a pie chart down progressively increasingly:

Pros: Pie charts are recognizable and pretty unive

Execs: Pie charts are recognizable and fairly universally understood. One of the vital efficient methods to make use of them is to point out one “slice” and the way it pertains to the entire.

Cons: The extra slices you may have, the tougher a pie chart is to grasp. They take up more room than some alternate options. They are often obscure exactly with out labels. Troublesome to match traits between a number of pie charts.

Donut Chart

Donut charts are the identical as a pie chart, they’re simply lacking the middle.

This eases a few of the cons of pie charts; for instance, they are often simpler to grasp as a result of eradicating the middle makes totally different segments simpler to match.

There’s additionally extra room within the center to label the chart.

These donut charts are used alongside a proportional space chart displaying the perceived corruption in each nation on this planet.

The donut charts assist clarify the share of the world that’s perceived as extra vs. much less corrupt.

Pros: Relies less on area and more on the size of

Execs: Depends much less on space and extra on the scale of the arc, making them simpler to grasp at a look. Provide house so as to add labels on the within.

Cons: Nonetheless obscure with numerous slices, or to grasp traits between a number of donut charts.

Stacked Bar Graph

A 100% stacked bar graph reveals percentages of a complete inside a single bar or a set of bars.

These are significantly helpful if it is advisable to present a comparability between a number of datasets.

Not like pie charts and donut charts, the place the round type makes it onerous to match percentages, the stacked bar graph makes this simpler.

This interactive visual compares inventive routines of well-known writers, artists, and musicians. All of the creatives had the identical variety of hours in a day, however this chart reveals how otherwise they used them.

Pros: Easier to compare between datasets than pie

Execs: Simpler to match between datasets than pie charts.

Cons: The 100% scale is probably not as apparent in a bar as it’s in a pie chart. More durable to match segments the extra segments there are.

Possibility 5: Portion of a picture

The 2-category pie chart and donut chart are particular circumstances of a extra basic technique, which is to point out a portion of a picture.

Create your personal visualizations

Everybody can entry the Displayr doc used to create these visualizations here. To switch the visualizations with your personal knowledge, click on on every visualization and both change the Inputs or modify the underlying R code (Properties > R CODE).

The best way to Visualize a Checklist

Generally your standout “knowledge” is definitely a listing of things. Icon lists and bubble clouds are generally used to visualise lists.

Icon Checklist

An icon checklist is strictly what it feels like: a listing, with every merchandise accompanied by an icon. Whereas not precisely visualizing the info – it’s nonetheless very text-heavy – the icons may also help break up the textual content.

In this humorous example, beards are ranked when it comes to their trustworthiness. Each beard within the checklist is accompanied by a easy icon displaying the kind of beard.

Pros: A simple to create visualization for when yo

Execs: A easy to create visualization for when your solely knowledge is a listing.

Cons: Not supreme for longer lists. Not probably the most organized solution to current a listing of knowledge that has some form of scale.

Bubble Cloud

A bubble cloud is a visualization the place each merchandise on a listing is inside its personal “bubble.”

They may also be plotted on a chart, by which case it’s known as a bubble chart. Although organized considerably otherwise, bubble clouds work very equally to proportional space charts, as their space is used for comparability functions.

This example is fairly attention-grabbing, grouping bubbles by approximate location within the EU.

It makes use of shade and scale to distinguish inhabitants dimension, and a donut chart across the border of every bubble to point out the share of the inhabitants that smokes.

Pros: Great for displaying, grouping, and comparin

Execs: Nice for displaying, grouping, and evaluating giant units of knowledge.

Cons: It may be onerous to get textual content to suit inside smaller bubbles, leading to some legibility points.

4. If its numbers of individuals, particularly giant numbers of individuals, you’ll want to inform the story in different methods too

As soon as numbers begin getting actually excessive, positively 100,000 and above, folks actually battle to hook up with them to real-life in any significant means.

If we’re speaking about folks’s experiences, we must always transcend the numbers to verify we’re highlighting the human parts.

Here’s a quite simple instance.

Don’t you agree that the infographic above which cites an enormous variety of college students is just not almost as efficient because the one under which incorporates particular person college students’ tales?

After we’re speaking about a extremely huge variety of people who find themselves struggling, similar to 500,000 COVID-19 deaths in the U.S., we should be hyper conscious of a phenomenon generally known as psychic numbing. Reality is, because the quantity grows, folks’s compassion is unable to maintain up, and they’re going to care much less and fewer.

This can be a main impediment if we’re eager to encourage folks to take some significant motion to scale back this struggling. Individuals at all times join higher to people and their private tales, and to emotional features, than they do to numbers, in accordance with professional psychologist Dr. Paul Slovic.

AssociatedHow to Tell a Story With Data: A Guide for Beginners

Once more, visuals can go a great distance to assist folks join with the numbers. Particularly, images of particular person folks, particularly their faces, may also help elicit feelings which can be important for understanding why the large quantity actually issues.

Do you join extra with the statistic that there are 9 million LGBT Americans, for instance, or with the photograph under of 1 who is overtly homosexual?

After we visualize numbers and once we make them relatable, we are able to make our infographic extra significant and extra compelling for our audiences.

With Venngage, you will get began instantly by selecting considered one of our many infographic templates, then simply observe speaking numbers in the best way that works greatest in your viewers.


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