Blog Archives

Link: Data Journalism in the 19th Century

March 25, 2015
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Scott Klein of ProPublica has written a great story about an early use of data in journalism, and Horace Greeley, the colorful journalist behind it. Greeley found an issue and then gathered the data to show the extent of the problem. This is not unlike today. In Greeley’s case, the issue was how much money members of … Continue reading Link: Data Journalism in the 19th Century

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Complications

March 23, 2015
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Complications

In watches, a complication is anything that goes beyond the basic function of showing the current time: alarm time, moon phase, etc.  I think the term should be adopted in user interface design and visualization. With their upcoming Watch, Apple is clearly playing to horology and the long history behind the design of classic watches. They … Continue reading Complications

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Link: CG&A Article on Tapestry

March 18, 2015
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I’ve written a short piece about the Tapestry conference for the Graphically Speaking column in Computer Graphics and Applications. The article talks about the reasoning behind Tapestry, how it’s different from academic conferences, and gives a few examples of talks. It even includes anecdotal evidence to show that the conference has enabled actual knowledge transfer. If you prefer a PDF … Continue reading Link: CG&A Article on Tapestry

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The Value of Illustrating Numbers

March 9, 2015
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The Value of Illustrating Numbers

Showing data isn’t always about trying to convey an insight, or giving people the means to understand the intricacies of data. It can also be a tool to communicate a fact, an amount, or an issue beyond just the sheer numbers. Data illustration is poorly understood, but it can be very powerful. About a year ago, … Continue reading The Value of Illustrating Numbers

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Link: The Graphic Continuum

February 25, 2015
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The Graphic Continuum is a poster created by Jon Schwabish and Severino Ribecca (the man behind the Data Visualisation Catalogue). It lists almost 90 different chart types and organizes them into five large groups: distribution, time, comparing categories, geospatial, part-to-whole, and relationships. Some of them are connected across groups where there are further similarities. The poster is printed very nicely and … Continue reading Link: The Graphic Continuum

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Link: Joint Committee on Standards for Graphic Presentation (1915)

February 18, 2015
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An article in the Publications of the American Statistical Association by the Joint Committee on Standards for Graphic Presentation laid down some standards for how to create good data visualizations. In 1915. The chairman of that committee was none other than Willard C. Brinton, author of the highly opinionated (and much more complete) Graphic Methods for Presenting Facts. Andy … Continue reading Link: Joint Committee on Standards for Graphic Presentation (1915)

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Video: Nigel Holmes on Humor in Visualization and Infographics

February 11, 2015
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In this talk, Nigel Holmes talks about the value of and use of humor in communicating visualization. He also has some interesting criticism of academic visualization research (and also some more artistic pieces). It’s a fun and interesting tal...

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Link: Becksploitation: The Over-Use of a Cartographic Icon

February 4, 2015
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Link: Becksploitation: The Over-Use of a Cartographic Icon

The paper Becksploitation: The Over-Use of a Cartographic Icon by Kenneth Field and William Cartwright (free pre-print PDF) in The Cartographic Journal describes the Harry Beck’s famous map of the London Underground and what makes it great. It also offers a collection of misuses of the superficial structure, and critiques them. I wish we’d had papers (and titles!) … Continue reading Link: Becksploitation: The Over-Use of a Cartographic Icon

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Spelling Things Out

February 3, 2015
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Spelling Things Out

When visualizing data, we often strive for efficiency: show the data, nothing else. But there can be tremendous value in redundancy to make a point and drive it home. Two recent examples from news graphics illustrate this nicely. The first is this animated chart of global temperatures from 1881 to 2014. It shows more data … Continue reading Spelling Things Out

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Link: Tapestry 2015

January 28, 2015
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Tapestry 2015 will take place March 4 in Athens, GA. This is the third time we are holding the conference, and it is again taking place on the day before NICAR. As in the past years, have a kick-ass line-up of speakers. The keynotes will be given by Hannah Fairfield (NY Times), Kim Rees (Periscopic), and … Continue reading Link: Tapestry 2015

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