Journal Article

Geofaceting: aligning small-multiples for regions in a spatially meaningful way

Kashnitsky, I., Aburto, J. M.
Demographic Research, 41:17, 477–490 (2019)

Abstract

Background: Creating visualizations that include multiple dimensions of the data while preserving spatial structure and readability is challenging. Here we demonstrate the use of geofaceting to meet this challenge.

Objective: Using data on young adult mortality in the 32 Mexican states from 1990 to 2015, we demonstrate how aligning small multiples for territorial units, often regions, according to their approximate geographical location – geofaceting – can be used to depict complex multi-dimensional phenomena.

Methods: The idea is to align small-multiples for territorial units, often regions, according to approximate geographical location. We illustrate the technique using data on young adult mortality in the 32 Mexican states from 1990 to 2015.

Results: Geofaceting reveals the macro-level spatial pattern while preserving the flexibility of choosing any visualization techniques for the small multiples. Creating geofaceted visualizations gives all the advantages of standard plots in which one can adequately display multiple dimensions of a dataset.

Contribution: Compared to other ways of small-multiples' arrangement, geofaceting improves the speed of regions' identification and exposes the broad spatial pattern.

The Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research (MPIDR) in Rostock is one of the leading demographic research centers in the world. It's part of the Max Planck Society, the internationally renowned German research society.