Knightly_, thanks for your analysis and suggestions, they are much appreciated. You made some points that really made me think and consider just what it is that I did and what I wanted to achieve, and that is always good. You clearly put some thought into it and invested some time in writing it up as well.
I'll start with a piece of background information. The basis for the graphics is that they are taken from the city screen. There are two reasons for doing so. The first is that the city screen provides the clearest view of the information, it is broken down nicely and has a good clear background. The second reason is that the city screen is where the buttons and levers for controlling the empire are. With the notable exception of the slider, all choices that depend on the flow of commerce are made in the cities. What buildings or wonders should be built, specialists run, Great People settled and so on. It is when I am looking at my city screen that questions of commerce arise so it made sense to me to use that as the base for the flow chart.
Now let me address your suggestions specifically.
-Your point about the slider is a good one, I agree completely. I copied the slider from the city screen (note the maintenance cost, this was London laden with wonders) instead of the main screen because it is graphically clearer and shows the amount of wealth generated with is not shown in the same way in the main screen. I consider having the wealth present an absolute priority as the subsequent division post-slider into three parts follows from that. This does create the confusion you pointed out, 0% culture yet 97 culture produced. Globally that is impossible, yet that image represents the global slider. If it was anything but zero this would hardly be noticeable, but it is zero and so it does attract attention. I originally intended the slider graphic to just represent the fact that the slider divides the commerce up, not thinking that the specific percentages shown would be important, now I see that the numbers are important. By taking the numbers from the slider and repeating them in the Raw B|C|G it intensifies the link and the flow being demonstrated. What I can do to resolve the confusion of 0% is simply use an image of a slider that isn't at zero. It might still be "fake" in the sense that it won't be taken from the main screen, where solely global totals are displayed, but it should be significantly less confusing to someone trying to puzzle their way through the details because it won't attract attention. That is an improvement I can implement.
-As far as percentage increases that each modifier contribute, such as a library, I see your point about that being useful information. However, something appeals to me about keeping the simple city screen image as it is. If I wanted to show the concrete information for each element I would also need to list the specifics for the specialists and settled Great People and everything, which clearly isn't possible due to space restrictions. Is it then logical to do it for the buildings just because there is a bit of space there? What I really want to show is the main flow of commerce to beakers/culture/gold and all the parts that play a role in that. I think trying to pin a specific number on each modifier may be taking it a step too far. I could remove the culture generated by Beaker Modifiers however. What do you guys think, is that clearer?
-What you say about the arrow on the right is certainly true, it needs to point to the beaker and the music note as well as the coins. This is something I struggled with while putting the chart together but I never found an acceptable solution. I considered running it up the full height of the page on the right with branches to the left for each of the three possible destinations. That, however, negates the effect of having the three categories as final stopping points. Anything to the right of them kills the clarity of the flow. I could continue the arrow up from the gold coins to the music note to the beaker, but that inadvertently joins the three unique outputs together which certainly isn't desirable as I want to emphasize them as three separate entities. My thinking is was that it should be implied that the arrow points to the other two elements even though it doesn't do so directly. It should be read as pointing at the column of three elements and not just at the wealth. I tested adding a faint background blob that would group the three elements together and have the arrow point to that blob and thus all three quantities in one go. Again, that ruins the flow from one source, commerce, to three separate destinations. I agree with your point here but I just don't have an perfect solution for it. Perhaps the best answer is to shorten the arrow so that it doesn't seem to be directly linked to only the coins, that would give more visual presence to the three elements anyway. I think I'll give that a try. Tell me what you think when you see it.
-Totaling up the beakers/culture/gold as you suggest sounds logical. I simply don't see the space for it at the moment, however. An arrow from the bottom of the Raw to the top of the Modifiers is also problematic in a pure graphic sense. I think that keeping the big picture clear, flow from left to right, takes precedence. The only diagonal or bump in flow occurs at the slider which I judge to be very logical. If this were to be a fully worked-out case study then I would want to finish the equation implied by the "+" signs but I believe it is valuable to keep it a bit more abstract as a chart. Perhaps more importantly I think it is a luxury that I can't afford given the limited pixels.
-The emphasis on a group of cities working independently but producing a global total is also intriguing. The chart as it is skirts around that issue, what is city what is empire. After spending some time thinking about how I could mark the difference between City and Empire I have to conclude that I am unable to come up with an improvement to the current chart. I agree that it is impossible to fit that in here, but as a separate illustration it could be of value. Perhaps this should be done as well. I will think about it a bit more to see if it would provide any significant insights into the game and how it could be done.
I enjoyed your post as it helped me clarify the purpose and means utilized in the flow chart. I am interested to hear your thoughts on my response and how others view your points. This is the kind of feedback that improves the quality of the final product, thanks for contributing.
Manfred, the image is full HD (1920x1080) so it could very well be that your browser is shrinking it down to fit it in. Try downloading it and viewing it in an image viewer.
Self, add the culture given by having religion present in a city.