Blog Archives

Putting Data Into Context

July 24, 2014
By
Putting Data Into Context

Raw numbers are easy to report and analyze, but without the proper context, they can be misleading. Is the effect you’re seeing real, or a simple result of the underlying, obvious distribution? Too many analyses and news stories end up reporting things we already know. This is a particular issue with data that has a […]

Read more »

Review: Kraak, Mapping Time

June 26, 2014
By
Review: Kraak, Mapping Time

Can you write an entire book about a single chart? Even if that chart is supposedly the best one ever? Menno-Jan Kraak's new book, Mapping Time: Illustrated by Minard's Map of Napoleon's Russian Campaign of 1812, discusses the historical context of Minard's work, his, life, and walks through a number of design exercises to show the same or similar data in different ways.

Read more »

When Bars Point Down

June 16, 2014
By
When Bars Point Down

It’s so simple it feels entirely trivial: bars in a bar chart pointing down instead of up. But the effect can be striking. And it’s not as obvious when to show downward-pointing bars as it might seem. The pure visualization point of view is that bars point up for positive numbers and down for negative […]

Read more »

Data Stories Episode About Data Storytelling

April 17, 2014
By
Data Stories Episode About Data Storytelling

How is it possible that it has taken a podcast called Data Stories 35 episodes to get to the topic of data storytelling? Alberto Cairo and I helped get the topic straightened out, and I think we even convinced Moritz that stories are not the enemy of exploration. It was a fun episode to record, and it touches on many interesting topics.

Read more »

Review: Manuel Lima, The Book of Trees

April 14, 2014
By
Review: Manuel Lima, The Book of Trees

Trees. They’re everywhere. And not just in the physical world, but in data visualization and knowledge representation as well. This is not a new phenomenon, it goes back thousands of years. Manuel Lima’s new book, The Book of Trees, gives an overview. Setting Expectations This review is an example of priming. The first time I […]

Read more »

Story: A Definition

April 7, 2014
By
Story: A Definition

What makes a story? What does a story do? In part one of this little series, I argued that stories and worlds are not opposites, but complements. In this part, I try to explain the differences between worlds and stories, and present a definition.

Read more »

Stories Are Gateways Into Worlds

March 24, 2014
By
Stories Are Gateways Into Worlds

Moritz Stefaner recently wrote a posting titled Worlds, not stories. He basically argues that while there is a clear role for the designer of a visualization, the result should be a world that users can explore, rather than a story that they’re told. I have a few things to say about this, and will do so in two parts. This is part one.

Read more »

NewsVis.org, The Directory of News Visualizations

March 3, 2014
By
NewsVis.org, The Directory of News Visualizations

When I was in Portland over the holidays a few weeks ago, I noticed a visualization in the local newspaper, The Oregonian. I had never heard of that before, nor of Mark Friesen, who created it. Wondering how many visualizations I might be missing, I decided to build a website that would collect them all: newsvis.org.

Read more »

The Mirrored Line Chart Is A Bad Idea

January 29, 2014
By
The Mirrored Line Chart Is A Bad Idea

The mirrored line chart is a pet peeve of mine. It’s very common close to elections when there are two parties or candidates: one’s gains are at the other’s expense. But it becomes even more egregious when there are two categories that have to sum up to 100% by their very definition. In her coverage […]

Read more »

Data Stories Podcast: 2013 in Review, Outlook to 2014

January 27, 2014
By
Data Stories Podcast: 2013 in Review, Outlook to 2014

The Data Stories podcast starts the new year with Andy Kirk and me as guests. With the hosts, Enrico Bertini and Moritz Stefaner, we discuss the major developments of 2013 and look ahead to what 2014 has in store. You can listen to the podcast episode directly on its page, but you should really subscribe […]

Read more »


Subscribe

Email:

  Subscribe