As with my various other statistical projects, this series is basically an enormous analysis of a given set of data. In this case, instead of instigating the data set my, I relied entirely on the information given in one book, The Complete Book of U.S. Presidents, 5th edition, by William A. DeGregorio (Gramercy Books, New York, 2002).
The book is just a huge collection of unrelated facts; I searched out the informational themes that weave throughout its 800-odd pages and collated them together into vignettes from the great narrative that is American presidential history. Together, they create a portrait of the presidency through trivia.
My series has two parts: tables and charts. The tables are mostly black and white sets of pure data in numerical form, and are made for anyone who really likes reams of pure information; they were in turn used as the basis for the charts, which are a collection of the most vivid, exciting-looking presidential statistics anyone has ever seen–an eye-popping blaze of color, geometry, and numbers! All in all, the series is a conflation of fun facts with fun colors. When I made these, it was really the first time I got into making charts, so in retrospect the charts are a little amateurish, but I also thought of them as sort of a chart version of abstract painting, in terms of how the shape and colors interact to form a whole. The tables are also interesting in hindsight, after the continuing progress of a data society; at the time they were made, this information still took work to put together, but now all the information in these tables are probably available in a wiki somewhere.
This series is from 2006, and has not been updated, so it only includes information up through the middle of George W. Bush’s second term. I may update the series after Joe Biden is inaugurated, since some fairly significant changes to the existing data sets have now occurred.
There are approximately 100 tables and 40 charts; a representative selection from both sets can be seen below.