Re-making graphs in Playfair 2: fivethirtyeight edition

I hadn’t intended to do another of these so soon but Nate Silver had a piece at fivethirtyeight today about Trump’s convention bounce. There’s one graph with the post and it caught my eye because it’s a great showcase for Playfair. Before I go further, take a look at the post.

So here’s why I really like the graph. It has a lot of annotation on it, and it uses two different chart elements – lines and shading. Creating the shading you see here is a snap in Playfair. Before I get to that, here’s a little gif showing you how I set up my data. Data in Playfair has to be long instead of wide so here you can see how I converted from wide format data to long (incidentally, the data isn’t given in the post, so I made it up to match the graph, but clearly I’m a little off).


Instead of walking you through it in text, I’ve created a little Youtube video of me re-creating the graph. I didn’t bother with trying to capture 538’s theme, opting to stick with the default but capturing everything else as closely as possible. It took me a bit less than 8 minutes. Here’s the video:

And here’s the final graph:


I think it compares pretty well to the original! You can play with a hosted version of Playfair here – this version does not allow you to use themes or save and load graphs. For that, you need to download the Playfair repository from Github and host it on a server (see the Github for more information).

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