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The Net Takeaway: Harvey Balls

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Danny Flamberg's Blog
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Harvey Balls · 08/22/2007 03:13 PM, Analysis

They have lots of names… but folks here at Yahoo! keep calling them Harvey Balls. I’d actually never heard that name, since I used the more understandable “filled ball chart”.

I was wondering where that name came from, so I did some research.

Harvey Ball is the name of the guy who invented the Smiley… so it would be convenient to name these graphics after him, given his great name.

But, it turns out not to be the case. Harvey Balls were named after Harvey Poppel while he was at Booz Allen in the 80s. Yes, though they seem to be everpresent in everything from Consumer Reports to the NYTimes, they are actually a relatively recent example of data visualization.

BTW, this is the same guy who invented voicemail, so he had a pretty impactful career. (http://answers.google.com/answers/threadview?id=29050)

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  1. Huh huh… You said, “impactful.” huh huh huh, Beavis.


    Darren    Aug 23, 04:04 PM    #


  2. You can get a TrueType Font version of Harvey Balls which makes them really easy to use. http://www.ambor.com/public/hb/harveyballs.html


    ambanmba    May 11, 08:35 AM    #


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