Flu Trends in a City chart from Google is Awesome!
There is nothing awesome about flu. In fact, it is anti-awesome if you have flu. I have been fortunate enough not to get it ever (it is another story that I have cold almost 364 days of an year).
Don’t worry if you are afraid of it, Folks at Google are not letting you down. They are using google search terms to predict flu trends and present the information in a beautiful chart.
Today I want to tell you why this particular chart on flu trends made by Google is awesome…
Take a look at it, I mean a really long serious look.
Done looking? Good. Now I will tell you why it is awesome.
no, wait, I will tell you 5 reasons why it is awesome.
- The chart lets you play: Even mission statements are exciting when you are playing with them (here is how). So when a chart lets you play with it, the chart instantly becomes awesome. In this chart, you can easily change the country or state or city to see flu trends for that. (related: making dynamic charts in excel)
- The chart highlights what is important: Look at the way Google shows current year vs. previous years. The current flu season (2009-2010) is shown in prominent blue color where as previous years are shown in dull shades of the same color. No more than 2 colors, but still the message is loud and clear. (related: this year vs. last year charts)
- Beautiful Legend: The legend showing flu intensity is just beautiful. It follows the correct visualization principles (2 color gradient scale to show opposing ideas). Bonus awesome points for showing a tick mark on the legend for the current flu intensity.
- Correct chart: Google has access to almost any kind of data on flu trends, budgets and resources to make almost any type of chart. But they didn’t abuse that power to make an eye candy flashy “info-graphic”. Instead they made a line chart. Simple, time tested chart, and it just works. (related: excel line charts)
- Tells you when to worry: After all you are looking at the chart to know if you should be worried (and get a flu shot). So the chart tells that right away with the intensity heat map at bottom. You can take a look at current intensity of flu, compare it with previous year(s) and decide if you should get the shots for the little ones. Bonus awesome points for that, Google. (related: heatmaps in excel)
That is all.
I like this chart, so next week we will learn how to make this in Excel. Stay tuned… (and stay safe).
Reminder: today is the last day to vote for your favorite sales dashboard.
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