We Need a World Visualization Day!

Visualization is still mostly done by academics, who are notoriously bad at communicating their work to the world. This is why we need a World Visualization Day: to show the world what visualization can do, and to get some attention from the public and the media. If you’re attending the Vis/InfoVis conference, come to the BOF meeting (Mon, Oct 29 at 6pm) to discuss further steps!

Why A Specific Day?

There are many World X Days, from World Usability Day to International Talk Like A Pirate Day – we really should be able to match at least the latter. There is no real reason for having a specific day, other than that it’s a great way to get attention for a cause. Media are driven by press releases and events, they pick up stories like that. If you listened to the radio on September 19, how many stories about pirates did you hear?

What is a World Visualization Day, anyway?

  • Activities on university campuses and in public places (see the world usability day): demos, talks, posters, crowds going wild (think Hans Rosling)
  • Attention from the media (hey, we have pretty pictures to show!)
  • For companies: realize the potential value of visualization
  • For students: think of visualization when looking for research to do (not just networks and databases …) and when looking for a career
  • For researchers: learn how to talk to people outside university and to learn about interesting research problems from potential users

Steps Towards World Visualization Day

I am organizing a Birds-of-a-Feather (BOF) meeting at the Vis/InfoVis conference this year to discuss the needed steps and get people involved. I am currently trying to recruit speakers for that, and will post more on the topic soon. I also intend to use this website to discuss ideas until we have a separate website up and running.

But there are a few things that are self-evident, and I want to at least get started on those at the BOF:

  • Pick a day
  • Form a committee/core group to organize everything
  • Start a website (I already have the domain …)
  • Produce presentation and press materials
  • Design a logo, ‘corporate ID’ for website and materials
  • Organize events
  • Collect ideas

If you’re attending the Vis/InfoVis conference in Sacramento, come to the BOF on Monday, October 29 at 6pm!

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