How an old streamgraph inspired Ivan to build his own.

To challenge the developers of Datylon Graph, which is our new dataviz plug in for Adobe Illustrator, we regularly try to copycat famous or interesting charts with it.

Last week, our most recent employee Ivan, was inspired by a visualization he found in the deep dark digital archives of the New York Times. It is a well-known example of a streamgraph published in February 2008 illustrating the article:
Ebb and Flow of Movies: Box Office Receipts Over Past 20 Years.

NYT’s premise was that summer blockbusters and holiday hits make up the bulk of box office revenue each year, while contenders for the Oscars tend to attract smaller audiences that build over time. This trend is clearly demonstrated by this graph.

The varying heights of the shapes illustrate the weekly revenue films make at the box office. The width shows the longevity while the area of the shape and its color correspond to the film’s total revenue. The whole streamgraph spans over a period of 20 years.

Now Ivan hardly being 20 years old himself (just kidding), does not know half of the movies in the original visualization, so he decided to use data of films from 2019.

And against our own holy copycat rules, Ivan did not stick to the original but stacked & colored the areas differently and colored the labels. A standard Datylon area chart was used for this and all styles properties are nicely saved in the graph. No manual drawing was involved.

From now on, the data can be updated at any time just by the click of a button so we won’t have to wait another 10 years for this...  

See more about Datylon Graph here.

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