Fellow blogger Craig Brown posted this link in a recent comment section, but I had to bring it up to the main level. Check out this graph on USAspending.gov, which shows the size of budgets for various government agencies and departments.
First of all, it's a really well done layout. Very simple, crisp and clear. Switch between the balls, lines and bars - wow, they've got some elegant transitions between graph styles. You don't have to be a data nerd to appreciate what's going on there.
But what's really interesting is to use the slider bar at the bottom of the graph and see the change from 2000 to 2009. And by "interesting" I think I mean "horrifying." I'm going to whip this out the next time I hear someone complain that upcoming budget years are going to be "grim" or "difficult" or "tight." Um, no, they're really not.
The List View is nice if you're a serious data nerd and want to see the actual numbers. As for me, the Graph View captures it perfectly well...