Friday, March 16, 2018


The fact that a good graphical display of data is usually more important (and more difficult) than the collection of the bare data was one thing I learned from the talks in the Wikidata Con last year. Sadly drawing things myself is something I have no talent at all, but lately two of the Facebook feeds I read started to post nice infographics almost daily, of which I will present two here.

Entity number as of 2017-12-31
Source: DOPA fanpage
The DOPA fanpage posted the graphical display of the 2017 entity numbers I presented here earlier this month. Of course the numbers are the same, it being displayed this way of course looks more catchy than the plain table I posted. I don't get why they chose to display mountains for the central administrative units, and their height totally not matches the numbers. For the local administrative units, it was of course very difficult to find any icon to symbolize the Provincial Administrative Organizations (PAO) - it's already difficult to explain the function of those to someone not familiar with the Thai administrative system, and guess many Thai don't know about them either.

Labor force survey 2018-02
Source: NSO
The second graphic is from the facebook feed of the National Statistics Office (NSO). Most of the infographics there are of course in Thai only, but at least one they also posted in an English translation - the Labor Force Survey of February 2018. It shows interesting factoids like the numbers of employees by sector (agriculture still dominants) or the unemployment rate by education - interestingly Bachelor degree holders have the highest unemployment. Would of course be nice if they'd post translated graphics more often.

While these graphics are great to catch the eye and give information to the reader, they have one big drawback - they are inaccessible to search engines. Textual data can be easily indexed and then found again later, PDF files are already more difficult especially if the raw text isn't embedded and must the retrieved by OCR, but these pure graphics won't ever be found by Google unless they implement much more artificial intelligence into their crawler.

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