Blog Archives

Encoding vs. Decoding

February 21, 2017
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Encoding vs. Decoding

Visualization techniques encode data into visual shapes and colors. We assume that what the user of a visualization does is decode those values, but things aren’t that simple. Encoding When a program draws a bar chart, it calculates the length of the bars from the numbers it’s supposed to represent. When it draws a pie […]

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Come To My Talk At UW On Tuesday, February 21

February 15, 2017
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Come To My Talk At UW On Tuesday, February 21

I'm giving a public lecture next Tuesday, February 21, at the University of Washington (UW). This is at the invitation of Professor Karen Cheng at the School of Art + Art History + Design. I will talk about what we know and what we don't know about visualization, and how we can expand our knowledge. The talk I'm preparing is an […]

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Hans Rosling: An Appreciation

February 8, 2017
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Hans Rosling: An Appreciation

Hans Rosling died earlier today (Tuesday, February 7). He championed the idea of showing people what the world was really like – and how it was different from their preconceptions – using data and visualization. And he did it with enthusiasm and humor. This is a brief appreciation of his work and legacy. Gapminder and the 2006 […]

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Let’s Crowd-Fund the Data Stories Podcast!

January 25, 2017
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Let’s Crowd-Fund the Data Stories Podcast!

Enrico and Moritz, the two hosts of the only visualization podcast in the known universe, are trying to crowd-fund their work rather than rely on advertising. If we all chip in a few dollars or euros per show, this will be easy to accomplish. You know those awkward breaks in the middle of the podcast […]

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The State of Information Visualization, 2017

January 23, 2017
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The State of Information Visualization, 2017

Between Surprise Maps, Dear Data, and election graphics, 2016 was an exciting year. There have also been some gaps, however, notably around storytelling. How far have we come, and where is visualization going? Visualizing Uncertainty Elections always bring large numbers of visualizations with them, and last year’s U.S. Presidential election was no exception. There is a […]

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ISOTYPE Book: Mackenzie, The Vital Flame

January 18, 2017
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ISOTYPE Book: Mackenzie, The Vital Flame

The first book in the new series on ISOTYPE books is The Vital Flame by Compton Mackenzie, published by The British Gas Council in 1947. It contains 42 color photographs and five ISOTYPE charts, with a nice variety of different topics and styles. A Bit of Context My copy of the book came with a […]

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New Series: ISOTYPE Books

January 16, 2017
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New Series: ISOTYPE Books

Presenting facts through data is not a recent idea. Otto and Marie Neurath created ISOTYPE in the 1920s and then ran their ISOTYPE Institute for more than two decades. During that time, they created charts for a wide variety of publications. In this series, I will show a number of these charts that I have […]

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Posters Program for Tapestry 2017

January 11, 2017
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Posters Program for Tapestry 2017

The Fifth Tapestry conference for storytelling with data is only about six weeks away. To make it easier for academics and students to attend, we are adding a more formal posters program this year. We’re looking for posters about all kinds of topics around storytelling with data: ideas for story structures impact of stories, how […]

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A Roundup of Year-End News Graphics Roundups

December 30, 2016
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A Roundup of Year-End News Graphics Roundups

The end of the year is always a good time to look back at the great work done in the world of news graphics – and this year in particular, to relive all the heartbreak and disillusionment. Here is a list of year-end news graphics round-ups for your enjoyment and edification. The New York Times, 2016: […]

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The Dumbest User Interface of 2016

December 27, 2016
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The Dumbest User Interface of 2016

It is my great honor and pleasure to announce the winner of the Worst User Interface Award 2016: it goes to the new chip-enabled credit card terminals introduced in the U.S. this year. My congratulations, as it is very well deserved. It is not often that a new user interface is so obviously annoying and […]

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