Exploded pie! …charts.

It brings me unspeakably irrational joy that “3D exploded pie” is actually a legitimate method of presenting data. No really. It’s a thing.

A chart with one or more sectors separated from the rest of the disk is known as an exploded pie chart. This effect is used to either highlight a sector, or to highlight smaller segments of the chart with small proportions.

Wikipedia (of course)

For example, this is an exploded pie chart OF pies:

Exploding pie chart of pies

{via Peltier Tech}

The thing is that regular pie charts are (potentially) amusing enough…

{via cheezburger}

…even if doughnut charts are better.

{via The Functional Art}

But an EXPLODED pie chart! The New York Times knows what I’m talking about (no really, in response to an article about the death of pie charts, someone worked out how to make an actual pie actually explode, and then actually did it).

Of course this also means there’s such a thing as exploded doughnuts. Er, exploded doughnut charts. (I know, more boring. Sorry.)


If doughnut chart > pie chart… and exploded pie chart > regular pie chart… then by reason, exploded doughnut chart > regular doughnut chart… and the hierarchy of baked-good–based data presentations is:

1) exploded doughnut chart
2) exploded pie chart
3) doughnut chart (intact)
4) pie chart (intact).

Which is, oddly enough, the exact inverse of my personal preference for actual pies and doughnuts.


PS. I don’t* have the time to delve into the differences between “doughnut” and “donut”, but it’s interesting to note that the latter, while deemed wholly** American by English-speakers outside the US, might only be used one-third of the time in US English. Anyway, the Macquarie Dictionary spells it “doughnut”, as do the all the best doughnut joints I’ve frequented, so that’s good enough for me.

PPS. The difference between the American concept of pie (Apple! Pecan! Pumpkin! Peanut butter! Cherry! Banana cream!) and the Australian concept of pie (meat) is even more perplexing and not worth discussing. Sweet pie (NOT exploded; see the conclusion to the list above) is better and that. Is. That.

*The apostrophe doesn’t mark a missing “u”.

**And “holey”, I suppose.


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