Pop Viz: Barbie N-Grams

October 14, 2014

Several months ago, I was doing some Google searching to figure out what a Barbie Dream Boat is worth these days. The Barbie Dream Boat was basically my most prized possession as a kid. I got it for Christmas when I was 7. It came in a gigantic box. It had a pool that you could fill with water. AND IT HAD A BLENDER. I made so many virgin piña coladas in there.

In searching to see how much these go for these days, I stumbled upon BarbieValues.com. Being me, I was instantly excited about this repository of Barbie data. Unfortunately, my traditional methods of web scraping couldn’t handle this beast of a dataset. Thankfully, after pleading with the audience of my “Pokemon, Porn, and Pop Culture: Using data that doesn’t suck” session at this year’s Tableau Conference, a few super smart Tableau devs, specifically Charles Vaughn and Nathan Brandes, came to my rescue! This dataset is amazing and I have all kinds of plans on things to do with it. But for the first in my series of Barbie data vizzes, I created an n-gram search. You can use this to see occurrences of words or phrases in Barbie models and accessories over time. To create the n-gram search, I used a parameter method that Matt Francis recently blogged about. Check it out below:

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In future Barbie vizzes, we will figure out who her favorite friend is (Midge? Teresa? Skipper?) and explore the many, many careers she’s had.

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1 Comment
October 14, 2014 @ 10:53 am

I know that Barbie Life in the Dreamhouse .gif

This viz is fascinating. And, to be honest, I expected to find MUCH worse results from my first search: “Careers” vs. “Bride”


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