Sunday 21st December 2008

This weekend I’ve added two new types of graph to the site, to help visualise some information. One shows Pepys’ increasing wealth during the diary period and the other shows how often an Encyclopedia topic has been referenced in the diary.

Here’s the first one:

A graph showing Pepys' wealth over time

There’s more information about it on a new Encyclopedia page for Pepys’ wealth. The graph will update automatically when Pepys mentions his current financial status (although it may lag by an hour or so due to caching).

The second type of graph can be seen on the ‘References’ tab of every Encyclopedia topic, eg here or here. Here are those two examples, the first for Sir Edward Mountagu, the second for the Plague:

A graph showing Sandwich's appearances in the diary

A graph showing Sandwich's appearances in the diary

Of course, many topics will have very few bars showing on their charts but for some it’s quite a handy perspective on their waxing and waning importance in Pepys’ life. If a bar reaches the very top of the graph that shows the topic has been mentioned every single day that month.

Again, these graphs will update whenever the topic is mentioned, although I’ve been a bit cautious with the caching and these may be a few hours out of date.

Do let me know if you have any thoughts on improving these, or ideas for any other information you’d like to see in some kind of graph format.

5 Comments

Bergie   Link to this

Do you plan to chart Sam's extramarital adventures?

Arthur Perry   Link to this

I find the graphs interesting. One thing I noticed is the reference graphs for topics with fewer references are hard to read because the bars are small. As you say, it is much more revealing of trends for topics that have more references.

However, one thing that might make it more readable for the less referenced topics is to change the y-axis to a smaller scale, or vary the scale to the values in the graph. Is this possible?

Phil Gyford   Link to this

I know what you mean Arthur. But I think the graphs are best as a rough indication, rather than something used to identify the exact number of times things have been referenced. Because the rest of the page is taken up with a detailed list of the days on which the topic has been mentioned I didn't want to take up too much more space with the graph.

If there wasn't the list of days then there would be a lot more reason to make the graph larger and more easily readable. At the moment it's more of a supplementary illustration, a bit like an expanded sparkline ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sparkline ).

Jesse   Link to this

Forgive me for suggesting this but it just dawned on me that it might be interesting to plot the word length of each day's entry.

MichaellaS   Link to this

tks for the effort you put in here I appreciate it!

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