The Telltale Chart is an effort to present important data about the U.S. economy in an accessible and portable form. As an historian, my strongest interest is in time-series, in charts and graphs and maps that illustrate big changes over large chunks of time. The choice of animated or interactive graphs and maps stems from my experience with students, who often lack the background or economic literacy to “read” a static graph. The animated versions, by contrast, both allow succint explanation of the logic of the graph and present the underlying data as an unfolding narrative.

I make no claims to expertise in graphic design, but have tried–working from conventional platforms like excel and powerpoint and Tableau–to draw as much inspiration as I can from the pioneering data visualization of Edward Tufte and David McCandless and others. I am always open to suggestions for new graphs, or tweaks/corrections to those already posted. I can be reached at colin-gordon@uiowa.edu.

The data sources themselves are varied, and are discussed in greater detail in notes accompanying each post or graphic.