09/04/2009

Pipes, flow, streams, erogation...

Some months ago, a colleague was writing a post for his blog about what he called 'pipe graphics'. He meant something like this:



So he asked me about the scientific denomination for them. I was not sure, thinked about Sankey diagram, but I was not sure. As I have Xaquín GV, 'Xocas' on my GTalk, I asked him. After a long chat, and cosulting Matt Ericsson, thinking on possibilities as butterfly diagram or flow graphics, Xocas decided that the best was to use a new name for them (trying to make us the new Tuftes), and gave them the name 'Stream graphics' (NOTE: this is a translation from the spanish 'gráfico de caudales', which could be not very accurate, if anybody thinks that there's a better translation, please let me know).

There were a lot of opinions about the denomination. And different ideas: dendrite diagram, Homi-Homo graphics (HOw Much In, HOw Much Out), Cosmographic graphics (quoting Stovall), 'little arms graphics', gauging graphics...



But one day, waiting for my coffee at the coffee machine of my new job, www.lainformacion.com, I could read that when the machine was preparing the drink, there was a word on the screen: 'Erogando' (erogating). I didn't knew what does the word meant exactly. A colleague searched the definition of 'Erogation', and it was: 'distribution of streams or money'. So, it was clear, the name of these kind of graphics should be Erogation graphics. Another colleague was interviwing Xocas just at that moment, so I told her to tell him about the idea. He liked it, it was more complete.

But my new editor, Mario Tascón (who was infographics journalist on his beginnings) knew about our idea. He thinked that 'flow charts' was better. Maybe more general, but it was the denomination that Harris (Information Graphics) and Bruce Robertson (How to make Charts an diagrams) gave them.

The debate is still open...

1 comment:

Crosby said...

I had already herad about Sankey diagram, but I did not know what it was about! In fact I thought it was a type of generic viagra or something like that