Last week Guido Vroemen tweeted the following graph about the wattages needed to break the UCI Hour record. As you might have noticed I am a bit of a cycling enthusiast.
— Guido Vroemen (@Sportarts) February 23, 2015
I see several problems with this visualization. First of all it is difficult to read. The differences in wattages are very small so it is very hard to see the actual values on the y-axis. It is also not clear which cyclist is which color. You really need to carefully look at the colors and legend to find out. And I am not a fan of this kind of color scheme, it is too messy for me.
So, I made an alternative. It is just a few minutes of work to copy the data and then you can play around with different visuals. The purpose of the graph is not to show a trend or an order but to show which cyclist had what wattage. To make it easier to see this I changed the orientation. This way the viewer can ‘read’ the graph from left to right. I added labels to show the values. I could have removes the axis above because it is redundant to the labels but in this case I left it in. The bars are still in to be able to compare the wattages, different colors are no longer necessary, nor is a legend. I changed the color of Thomas Dekker because his value is a prediction. The final result with a very graceful retweet and thumbs up from Guido:
Also had a bit of a laugh with this prediction: