In Praise of Treemaps

The unassuming-looking treemap is a pretty effective information presenter. Recently we transferred the data points that we displayed on our beautiful victory margin maps to a stunning treemap. The result was powerful. The data scientist department was pretty perked up to see that dozens of hours spent collecting and organizing electoral data ended with such a splendid result.

Invented in the early 90s by Computer Scientist Ben Shneiderman, the treemap was conceptualized to represent hierarchical data. As of now, the method is used in hard drive exploration tools, stock market data analysis, census systems, election data, gene expression, and still excites plenty of data journalists.
In his 2013 post, Ben lucidly explained the scope and effectiveness of treemaps. A special shout out to Flowing Data’s Nathan Lau; his splendid work with treemapping is another testament to its effectiveness.