After a few weeks away, we’re back at it for #MakeoverMonday, Week 50 of 2018. This week, we’re looking at the land use (in square meters) required to produced one gram of protein and this is broken down by several different food types. Below is the original visualization, which I like. A basic bar chart that allows you to quickly see how much more land is required to produce a gram of protein for Beef/Mutton. After a quick glance at the data, I knew that fact would be my focus. My goal was simply to bring a little more attention to it and clean up the viz a bit. Let’s get started.
Step 1. Understand the Data
This was a pretty easy step this week, as the data set essentially contains just two columns (food type and land use in sqm) and ten rows (one for each food type). It also contains a column for year, but with the only year being 2017, it’s there more for reference than anything, as we can’t compare year over year trends, etc.
Step 2. Simplicity in Design
With a very straight-forward data set, we’re ready to jump right into the design. If the goal was to try something big and challenging, I would definitely go to my sketch pad here and begin sketching out a possible design. However, in this scenario, as I mentioned above, the original viz was good and the goal was to simply iterate on it, bringing more focus to just how much land use the Beef/Mutton food type requires in comparison to the other food types. Back in September, I saw this blog post by Charlie Hutcheson, where he took apart a #MakeoverMonday viz by Ruchika Agrawal. I thought the use of a bar inside of 100% box was pretty slick and a nice visual for comparisons. Having wanted to try this for quite some time now, I felt this data set would provide a decent use case. So, in this case the 1.024 square meters needed to produce one gram of protein, for Beef/Mutton, would serve as the 100% and the square meters required for the other food types would fill up that “100%” bar. For instance, in the example below, the Pork food type requires 13% of the land that the Beef/Mutton food type requires, to produce one gram of protein.
However, in my tooltip, instead of choosing to show how much less land is required by the other food types, since the focus is on the Beef/Mutton food type, I chose to show how much more land is required by Beef/Mutton than by the other food types.
So, at this point I had a pretty basic bar in bar chart that I felt was easy to understand and didn’t stray too far from the original viz.
The last step was to really drive the point home and what better way to do this than with
BIG ASS NUMBERS!!!
Step 3. Effective Use of Text
Using a descriptive title allowed me to include some text on the right side of the viz, that helped explain the situation. Again, the first thing I noticed in the original viz was how much more land use was required for Beef/Mutton. My natural instinct was to compare that one food type to all the others, combined. The results are pretty astonishing. It turns out that Beef/Mutton requires more than twice the amount of land needed by all nine other food types, combined. Pretty eye opening if you ask me. So, the finishing touches on the viz was to expand on the fact stated in the title. The final viz is below. Thank you so much for reading, have a great day!!