When I’m asked for a good book about visualization, I usually try to change the subject. There is no book I really love, they all have their issues. But thanks to Isabel Meirelles, I can now give a straight answer: Design for Information.
Once you’ve seen one visualization book, you’ve seen them all. They tend to all look similar, use the same examples, and don’t provide much depth. Is it too easy to write a book when you can use such compelling images?
I recently came across this book that claims to collect the 100 most important diagrams in the history of mankind. It’s a good collection, with many wonderful examples, though it has its flaws.
The visual representation of data has gone through a number of phases, with its goals switching back and forth between analysis and presentation over time. Many introductions to visualization tend to portray historical examples as all being done for the same purpose. That, I argue in this short, incomplete, and cherry-picked history, is not true.
When Alberto Cairo first told me about the book he was writing, called The Functional Art, he warned me that only a small part of it was going to be about visualization. I have no idea what he was talking about, the book I read was a visualization book from start to finish. It is […]
Last Monday, I got to attend Edward Tufte’s one-day course. I was looking forward to a day of interesting examples, ideas, and discussions, but was disappointed by the amount of rambling and largely historical examples, with little connection to real, current visualization (or presentation) work.