Blog Archives

Introducing Shift Register, My New Electronics Blog

April 27, 2016
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Introducing Shift Register, My New Electronics Blog

I have started a new blog, which I call shift register. It’s about electronics projects I’m doing, mostly building circuits on breadboards and playing with Arduinos. Electronics have been an interest of mine since I was a child. I played with electronics kits from a very early age, and as a teenager spent countless hours … Continue reading Introducing Shift Register, My New Electronics Blog

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Spreadsheet Thinking vs. Database Thinking

April 25, 2016
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Spreadsheet Thinking vs. Database Thinking

The shape of a dataset is hugely important to how well it can be handled by different software. The shape defines how it is laid out: wide as in a spreadsheet, or long as in a database table. Each has its use, but it’s important to understand their differences and when each is the right choice. Wide … Continue reading Spreadsheet Thinking vs. Database Thinking

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The Personified User Interface Trap

April 19, 2016
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The Personified User Interface Trap

Personified user interfaces, like chat bots or agents, are the new thing once again. But despite advances in artificial intelligence, they still have many issues and drawbacks compared to direct-manipulation interfaces. There was a debate around these interfaces in the 1990s, and it seems to be bound to repeat itself. In the last few weeks, Facebook unveiled a … Continue reading The Personified User Interface Trap

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Links: Scott Klein on the History of Data Journalism

April 7, 2016
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Links: Scott Klein on the History of Data Journalism

The history of data journalism goes back much farther than most people assume. Long before computers or punch cards, and before even the first newspapers the way we know them today, data was being published. ProPublica’s Scott Klein has been digging up a lot of interesting history. He wrote an article for this year’s Malofiej book, which he … Continue reading Links: Scott Klein on the History of Data Journalism

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The Two-Paper Package

March 21, 2016
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The Two-Paper Package

Much of academic work is focused on writing papers. This doesn’t just include the work that goes into the research and the writing, but also strategy – beyond the single paper. Here is one that worked. Even if it’s a bit coincidental, I think it’s a good model for other papers. It’s fairly unusual to talk about … Continue reading The Two-Paper Package

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Ye Olde Pie Chart Debate

March 15, 2016
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Ye Olde Pie Chart Debate

You may think that the debate over pie charts was a new one, but it has raged on for at least 100 years. Brinton started it in 1914, and great drama unfolded in the pages of the Journal of the American Statistical Association in the 1920s. Willard Brinton It all started with Willard C. Brinton … Continue reading Ye Olde Pie Chart Debate

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The State of Information Visualization, 2016

February 8, 2016
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The State of Information Visualization, 2016

Oh hello, new year! I almost didn’t see you there! Lots of interesting things happened last year: Dear Data, deceptive visualization, storytelling research, new tools and ideas, etc. And this year is already shaping up to be quite strong, too. Dear Data Perhaps the most exciting project of 2015 was Dear Data by Giorgia Lupi and Stefanie Posavec. They … Continue reading The State of Information Visualization, 2016

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2015 Year in Graphics Links

February 2, 2016
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2015 Year in Graphics Links

A bit late, but here are links to a few round-ups of graphical journalism work from last year. These are always worth a look, no matter what time of year. Bloomberg, 2015 in Graphics The New York Times, 2015: The Year in Visual Stories and Graphics ProPublica, The 2015 ProPublica Year in Visual Storytelling The Wall Street … Continue reading 2015 Year in Graphics Links

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Link: Tamara Munzner Has A Blog!

January 28, 2016
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Link: Tamara Munzner Has A Blog!

Late last year, Tamara Munzner started a blog, called Vis & More. So far, she mostly writes in response to Stephen Few’s postings late last year about some recent visualization papers. Her style is quite academic (most of her posting titles start with “On”…), but very readable and she has lots of interesting things to say. Just … Continue reading Link: Tamara Munzner Has A Blog!

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Paper: Presentation-Oriented Visualization Techniques

January 7, 2016
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Paper: Presentation-Oriented Visualization Techniques

Presentation is often considered a part of visualization, but what does that mean for the kinds of techniques we use? Are they the same as used for analysis? What criteria should we use to pick them? In a new paper, I discuss a class of techniques I call presentation-only. The paper is accordingly titled Presentation-Only Visualization Techniques, and it just … Continue reading Paper: Presentation-Oriented Visualization Techniques

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