There have been 2200 wildfires in Germany this year.

I did not know Germany as a country where wildfires are a problem. But this year, it felt like they’re starting to become one. Although there have been wildfires in Germany every summer, this year alone we’ve had two record months in the last seven years: There were more than 500 fires spotted by NASA satellites in Germany in April and July.

Still, countries like the US experience far worse; more than 70k fires alone this year. And the Republic of Congo, which is almost exactly as big as Germany, had to deal with six times as many wildfires so far this year.

Chart Choices

The chart above is a chameleon: Already in the past, we’ve created dot plots and line charts with Datawrapper scatterplots. Today, we made a column chart with an area chart. Why would we do this? Because the Datawrapper area chart is way better at displaying date labels (like months or years) in the correct intervals than our column chart.

This possibility of creating a chart type with another one reveals that there are often no clear boundaries between chart types. A dot plot with enough rows becomes a scatter plot. A scatter plot with enough dots on a line becomes a line chart. A line chart that is filled with a color below the line becomes an area chart. And an area chart with stepped interpolation becomes a column chart. We can push the boundaries of chart types…to then walk into the boundaries of another chart type, or into completely new territory.


As always, you can hover over the chart and click on “Edit this chart” in the top right to see how we’ve created it. I’ll see you next week!

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