I want to show some summarized information on a map. I have written before asking for help to get the information on the map, but the question this time is more about aesthetics and using good design principles to get this information out to our audience.
To Pie or Not to Pie – I have read all the terrible things about using Pie charts and I understand how difficult they are to process for comparison - however, they give a good overview of the data I want to share.
The data is registered teams in FIRST (a k-12 program to get kids interested and engaged in STEM). There are four different team types and each has a distinctive branded color. I am working on the Washington State data. Washington is divided into 8 regions based on counties. For each registered team, I have the program (1 of 4 types), the region, county, city, zip code.
My goal is to show the number of teams registered in each of the four programs in each of the 8 regions.
This example is last year’s data (my first effort) using Excel Powermap and Word to place boxes. This graphic was intended as a tool for internal use, but ended up getting printed and shared outside the organization (ugh, I was a bit embarrassed).
This year, I have updated data and more knowledge using Tableau and reading about design principles, but I am unable to wrap my head around alternatives to show the data.
To make things easier for me, I have created a Mapbox map with the regions shaded so this map lays on the background and I don’t have to use up an axis just to get the counties and regions shaded properly. I'm not sure which colors to use to keep the region data in the background and not emphasized but still differentiate the regions.
One other piece of data that I use is called a Rollup County. I was having trouble mapping my regions which are just groups of counties. I ended up with information on each county, so I assigned each region to have a single county (the Rollup County) where the data for the entire region can be summarized.
I would love for the community to take a look at this project and help me with ideas about how to share this information in manner that follows good graphic design principles and gets the information out in a format that is useful and understandable.
Examples of what I have tried so far… (unfortunately, my workbook was created in the 10 beta version, so probably is not readable to most people). I have included the data file here though.
Map with Pie Charts. Each Pie could have 1-4 slices representing the number of teams in each program.
Dots showing concentration of teams and 'small multiples' showing number of teams in each program.
Dashboard showing a map with the region names and then separate summary charts showing number of teams in each region as well as number of teams in each program.
Thank you in advance for sharing your ideas.