Texas and weather graphics: the Dallas Morning News instant classic


I've seen today a superb job by one of myy favourites infographics journalists, Jay Carr from the Houston Chronicle. It was a graphic showing the evolution of weather in Texas.

But I had a problem. It resembles too much to an example I loved form a neighbour newspaper some years ago, The Dallas Morning News.

But when I was thinking on it, I saw one post by Charles Apple talking about the first graphic. And everything became clear. Jay Carr worked for The Dallas Morning News before being hired by Houston Chronicle in 2002. So I looked for the Dallas graphic cause I knew I had it in my computer, in my folder of 'favorite graphics'. And there it was. But it was a 2006 graphics, so Jay Carr was already at the Chron. The graphic is signed by Troy Oxford and Tom Setzer. I asked Jay and he said he knew the DMN graphic, he liked the way the temperatures were charted and he has done the same way since then.
I understand it. Each time I see some works of my former colleagues at Publico my mind says: "Oh, man, you got to do something like this....". When something is perfectly explained, why doing it other way?

But it's not the only example. This one is easier, but following the same ideas. This one about the Austin weather was published at the Statesman.

Again the same patterns. And in Texas. It looks that Oxford and Setzer graphic became an instant classic in the state. Good ideas always work.


Chuck said...

I didn't dwell on it in my own post, Chiqui, but I've drawn a number of graphics over the years very similar to the one Jay drew. In fact, that's pretty much the best and clearest way to chart daily highs, lows, averages and records.


Yes, of course there will be many more. And if I have that kind of information, I can tell you I'll use the same system. As you say, is the clearest way. I don't know if the DMN graphics was the first one (but I guess it isn't), but it was a graphic that really socked me and I liked it a lot. Was funny to see the same idea again through the years. In Spain is possible, buy very hard to retrieve that kind of data, if you ask for it to the National Weather Service they just give you one day records each time you ask, so you'll need to call them 365 times... I hope that will change