John Walkenbach’s Lime Crop

Excel author extroardinaire and amateur banjoist John Walkenbach describes this year’s Lime Crop this weekend in The J-Walk Blog. I’ve reproduced John’s chart below.

Bar Chart of John Walkenbach's 2009 Lime Crop

In a completely unwarranted statement, John snidely wondered how long until I criticized his chart.

Man. How did I deserve that… Oh, yeah.

Well, he asked for it.

Here’s what I did like about John’s chart:

  • He used PNG format for the image file.
  • The chart clearly shows most of the data.
  • The use of lime graphics was not overboard, in fact, one lime per lime is an appropriate  scaling factor.

Here’s where John’s chart needs improvement:

  • His ink to data ratio is way too high: look at that distracting shadow.
  • His vertical axis title is tilted 90°, making it hard to read.
  • The zero limes harvested in 2007 and 2008 are not clearly shown.
  • Time series data is usually more effective on a line chart.

I’ve made the appropriate changes in the following chart.

Line Chart of John Walkenbach's 2009 Lime Crop

I guess we should call this a Lime Chart.


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  1. Lime chart? Anyway, I thought John’s chart was sublime. Your version could be improved by a transparent background for the series markers.

    But aren’t limes usually used in bars and pies?

  2. If you add a legend to the chart, you’d have a key lime.

  3. I actually did try to make the white background transparent. But due to the magic of antialiasing, I could only make the corners transparent, and there is still a white halo around the lime. And I didn’t feel like playing for hours just for a dumb picture for a silly chart.

  4. Nice to see such a lime-hearted viz post ;o)

  5. I’m waiting for someone to bring up that old Harry Nilsson song….

  6. Oh, now I get it. The yellowy bit behind each lime is the coconut.
    Thanks to you and Harry, for the song that’s now stuck in my head.

  7. Your lime chart is misleading! It shows lime where there were no limes at all (2007 and 2008). You should consider inserting the image of a bottle of Rose’s Lime Juice instead, indicating that John had to rely on external supplies for his preferred cocktails ;-)

  8. How long until the apples and oranges get mentioned?

    : )

  9. Nice to see a topic like this in the limelight. But don’t you think the topic is a little lime-iting?

    Where did John get the lime.png? Is there a rum.png hanging around?

  10. blimey!

  11. An analysis of the charts suggests that John should grow a different plant. PI (personal intelligence) at its best!

  12. Perhaps a tick mark would be appropriate for the 2007-2008 lyme years.

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