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Gender & Death

Gender & Death - by Ali Olhausen and Jeffrey Marano

For our project we decided to take a sample from the Atlanta Journal Constitution of all the obituaries posted on March 31st, 2016. Our goal was to determine if there was a correlation between gender and death that was recorded that day. In our project we observed that there were 6 days, prior to March 31st, that were recorded as the dates of death for the people we sampled. We noticed that the 6 day ranges between the men and women were not the same. The women were recorded a day earlier than the men. 

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After we collected our dated we recorded place of origin, their name, and age. We decided to use RAW to create a visual representation of our data. We attempted to use the Circle Packing Layout. We organized it by assigning different colors to each gender - pink for women and blue for men. Then, we sized the circles based on age, with the older people having larger cirlces and the younger people having smaller. However, we noticed several inconsistencies with this design. For example, several of the oldest people had smaller circles than people who fell in the median range of age. There was also one outlier who had a completely differently colored circle. We could not find an error in the data entry. These flaws, combined with the fact that we felt the design was a little murky and inefficient, lead us to re-design it entirely.

Our next step was to turn to Adobe Photoshop. We decided since so much of our data was time-centric, such as age and date death, we would use a timeline motif. We divided the page cleanly with a purple line, since it's the color that results from combining blue and pink. Then, we chose the left to represent the men, and the right to represent the women. We chose to keep the same gender and color combinations, and then used various shades of those colors to distinguish date of death. The lighter the shade the closer to March 31st they passed away and the darker the shade, the farther their death date was from March 31st. We chose length of line to indicate age, with the longest lines representing the oldest people. We considered using varying weights to represent different qualities of the data, but ultimately decided that it would cloud the image, and distract too much from what we were trying to communicate.

Here is our final project:

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