Men's 100 Meter World Record Progression

Original

Tries to do too much. Too many lines. Too much wasted space. Data points overwhelmed by long labels. Colors highlighting minor data (wind speed) distract. Large axes range (~100 years and 600 centi-seconds) condense text-heavy labels too closely hurting readability.

Redux

Reduce wasted space by collapsing the y axis (but keep year data in labels). At a distance the runners and time labels clearly identify the subject. Labels below x axis serve double-duty as histogram, demonstrating the number of world record-holders before 1977. Runner silhouette demonstrates scale in human terms and attempts to stylize otherwise austere chart — indeed, we end up with a visual shaped like a race itself.

Does it need more color?


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Blame Ryan Flynn