Adding Transition Animation to Scatter Visuals

Arcadia Enterprise implements a powerful feature on scatter graphs: transition animation.

In the World Life Expectancy dataset, we use the time as the transition 'axis' to show how GDP per capita, life expectancy, and population size changes over time, from year 1990 through year 2010.

For this visual, we will start with the existing visual World Population - Scatter with Size, which is developed in Adding Size to Scatter Visuals.

  1. Above the left navigation bar, click Clone to create a new visual that has the same properties as the original.

  2. Under Dimensions, select year and drag it over the Transition shelf on the main part of the screen. Drop to add it to the shelf.
  3. On the sum(population) field, click the (down arrow) icon, select Aggregates, and then select Average.
  4. Click Refresh Visual.

    The scatter graph refreshes, but this time notice that it has animation controls at the very top, over the vertical axis legend. The controls common to all video animations: 'play' (which changes to 'pause' when the animation is active), 'back to start', 'back-up', 'advance', and 'to end'.

    Notice also that both axes extend far beyond the data points for the initial conditions, year=1990. This is because the cover the entire range of measurements for all data.

  5. [Optional] Turn on the gridline option, as described in Enabling Gridlines.
  6. [Optional] Adjust the speed of animation, as described in Change Transition Delay.
  7. Press play, and notice the changes in data. Here are some highlights:

    • The World-Wide downward bounce in life expectancy centered on 1918, due to the Spanish Flu pandemic.

    • The Soviet Union secularization efforts and agricultural policies in its Asian territories resulted in war and famine that claimed many lives in Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, and Turkmenistan. This is reflected in the precipitous decrease in life expectancy for these countries in 1919-1923, with heaviest losses in 1920.

    • There was another significant decrease in life expectancy due to the loss of as many as 8 million lives in the Soviet famine of 1932–33 and more specifically, the Hlodomor. Soviet Union farm collectivization in the Russia and Ukraine withheld grain from farmers and collectivized farms until unrealistic production quotas were be met.

    • The United States economy grew rapidly from mid-1930s through mid-1940s, because New Deal's economic relief and work creation policies stabilized the country after the Great Depression, while the World War II material support of the Allies and its own involvement in Europe, Africa, and the Pacific meant even greater production of materials, armaments, and two new naval fleets. Notice that GDP per capita increased nearly 3-fold, while the population increase and life expectancy were relatively modest.

    • The exceptional increase in GDP in a very modest country of Kuwait after the discovery of the world's sixth largest oil deposits in 1938, through 1956 peak levels of GDP per capita growth, and large scale modernization from 1946 through 1982. After a period of international instability in 1980s, the 1990 invasion by Iraq destroyed much of the infrastructure. After 1991 US intervention, the country has been rebuilding its infrastructure. Note also the significant population increase after

  8. Change the title to World Population - Scatter with Transition.
  9. At the top left corner of the Visual Designer, click Save.

    clicking to save

While we can see the data for individual countries more clearly, it is often useful to contrast well-defined logical segments of data.

Let's next look at comparing and contrasting GDP per capita and life expectancy for different UN Regions in Adding Trellises to Scatter Visuals.