Week 6 – Indian women in a fix

The title of this post says it all. The course might be officially over, but there is so much to grasp and apply, that only practice can embed the learning now. As I wrote in my previous post, my initial struggle in finding a suitable topic really got to me. When nothing came to mind, I sought for inspiration from my surrounding. One day I sat infront of the television listening to the news, when I came across yet another case of a girl whose father was shot for warning the lecherous man who eve-teased his daughter. Then it dawned over me (just like the cliché light bulb over my head) that this could be the topic to visualize. All I had to do now was to pray that I find data specific to this project.

When I started thinking about the topic, I realized that there was a need for a bigger picture and finer details. As seen in my sketch below, there were some aspects of the topics I could consider (thankfully I found decent amount of data for it too). These aspects are listed as following:

  1. G20 country ranking
  2. Overall Population of the country
  3. Female population
  4. Crimes that are taken into consideration
  5. Sex Ratio of States
  6. Incidence of crime across the country
  7. Rape cases reported (since that’s always in the news)
  8. Age-wise distribution of the cases

Of all these little stories, I couldn’t use all of them and therefore the selection process began. Some of the decisions were my conscious choice, while others were as a result of the layout of the infographic. Either ways I realized, that since one of the limitations (or maybe not) of a print graphic is its one glance view and not step-by-step journey (as incase of an interactive piece), I cannot afford to put all the details in this one piece.

Anyways one thing led to another and the final piece looked like this:
WEEK 6 For a clearer, zoomable view please see the link here

Please Note: I couldn’t find data for number of rape cases state-wise reported in 2011. If you can provide me with that data, Il update the infograph ASAP.

The story is basically to throw some light on the topic and show that while the male-female population is growing in sync with each passing year, the cases of crime against women has jumped to quite an extent. I am not sure yet of the reason and cause behind this (politicians and the culprits have their own versions), but the data surely opens our eyes to the status of crime in this country. Doing this project surely made the facts clearer to me. Being a girl in this country, I think it was a good topic to explore, gives more context to the news I hear everyday.

There are some graphs I didn’t manage to accommodate in the final infograph.
leftover1 leftover3

With just 4 days in hand, I did the best I could. I went through a great process and I know that for me the process was a bigger achievement than the final result. Having said that, I know myself that this particular infograph can be improved a lot (especially the colours). The course has motivated me to do many topics in the future and probably after I have slept a little, I will relook at this, like my other exercises on MOOC and improve on it.

Note1 Note2NOTE-3




I guess I will write a separate post about my experience with MOOC but for now I can say that it was a great experience.

Week 6 – Indian women in a fix


Hello All!

Its been a while!! This attempt of frequent blogging, is harder than I thought, especially if one is not in a habit of keeping one. Do not mistake absence of a new post as a sign of my procrastination, its rather an attempt to find some time off work. With that intro, lets begin the ‘ram katha‘ (tale) of this next project:

Before I start rambling, the post is named Route.ai because I worked on it and stared at it for so long , that I began to refer to the project as rote.ai. ‘ai’ is nothing but a suffix for an Adobe Illustrator file. So lets continue:

Its been 2 years since I started work. My first workplace was in Bangalore, India and the current is in Gurgaon, India. The task I took upon myself was to see, which city made me waste more time travelling (never a good way to lose hours in the day). I have spent 5 years in Bangalore and well Gurgaon is home so such a comparison could be biased. Many a times, a debate with my friends regarding which of the two cities is better and why was a non conclusive one (everyone defends their city after all). The truth of the matter is both have their pros and cons and to be honest are not the best places to live in India.

To avoid answering this question driven by emotions, I decided to chalk out my daily travel to my workplace in both these cities based on PURE FACTS and DATA.

The first method was to use Google maps and map the route and the modes of transport used in my travel daily in both the cities. I spent one week on flash trying to make these interactive, so that on mouse hover the user could see the locations clearly but to my dismay this free version of WordPress doesn’t allow embedding .swf files in my posts. ALAS! The alternate and in my opinion best option was to make .gifs. The images on the left show travel from home to office and the one on the right shows vice versa. So, click the images below, to see the map clearer.

Route from home to work in Gurgaon  Route from work to home in Gurgaon

Route from my residence to office in Bangalore Route from office to my residence win Bangalore

I realized that using a map with a monotone color and minimalist details really helps in communicating routes. You don’t want to add to the already existing chaos or details of the map with use of colourful lines and text. At this point of time, I would like to mention Edward Tufte, he mentions in one of his books the importance of removing redundant information (unnecessary lines, dots, text) from your work. The maps used here are taken from the library at colourmade.com. You can also create your own customized Google maps in different styles.

While the first option was in context, the next method breaks up the usage of different modes of transport during the journey. It helps to compare the same modes of transport in both cities. It wouldn’t be right to conclude that Bangalore had more traffic, if I traveled by bus in Bangalore and metro in Gurgaon. Waiting time is not included here though, so the communication shouldn’t be confused with that of the maps above. The solid bars represent onwards journey and the dashed bars represent backward journey.


This one is nothing but a cumulative of the bar graph above. It summarizes the modes of transport to give an idea of the total time taken for onward and backward travel Gurgaon


The next method puts distance on the X-axis and time on the Y-axis. The pitstops are plotted on this graph. The additional information is that the slope of such a graph gives us the speed of the travel. So, at this level you can make a suggested guess about how fast each mode of transport is and thereby conclude the situation of traffic in the two cities. The point on the graph where time moves forward but distance doesn’t, signifies waiting time.



I spent many days trying to come up with new (non cliche’) ways to communicate this information, but in the end this method gave the best information in the least confusing way. I guess sometimes Cliche’ is for a reason.

DELHI metro project is one of the best things that happened to the Capital/ NCR and at this stage I could probably say with confidence, its one of the best modes to commute intracity in the whole country.

Even though the distance in Bangalore was half the distance I travel in Gurgaon, time taken was almost the same EVERYDAY. This ought to tell you what the traffic situation in Bangalore is like.

Maybe another level of information that could be added was the cost of travel both ways and map that against the distance traveled. Well, the options can be unlimited when you want to visualise, just depends on the story you want the data to tell.

Well back to a new project, lets see how long that one takes to feature here.

Adobe Illustrator, MS Excel, Kuler,
Stamen design (they have a great bank of stylized maps)
Cloudmade.com ( for the blue maps i used)
ColorOracle (helps you view your artwork as a colorblind person would)