Peer Review, Part 1: Quilt Plots

Quilt Plot

What is peer review? How does it work? And is it really as flawed as people claim it is? In this little series, I will talk about all that, and then end up arguing that peer review does, in fact, work – at least in visualization. But first an example where it didn’t.

The State of Information Visualization, 2014

The Oregonian, Trimet's Long Days

2013 was another exciting year for visualization. Between many new developments in data storytelling, a new wave of news graphics, new visualization blogs, better automated infographics, and visuals designed to hit you hard, it is difficult to decide what was most important. Here is a look back, and some ideas about where we’re going.

WTFViz, ThumbsUpViz, and HelpMeViz


I have complained, repeatedly, about the lack of good online resources for visualization; in particular, when it comes to discussion and critical reflection. Also, where can you go to get help with a visualization project? A few recent websites are tackling these issues in different ways.

Scaling An Axis to Make A Point

Female CEOs Keller

A clever chart redesign last week got a lot of people talking about which one is “right.” What is more interesting to me is not which one is (supposedly) the better representation of the truth, but which purpose each one serves.

A Lack of Communication and Visibility

Finding visualization projects and pretty pictures on the web isn’t exactly difficult, but what about actual research? What if you wanted to know what’s going on in visualization, and get a sense of what current work is the most interesting? There is no resource for this that I’m aware of, but there should be.

A Guide to the Quality of Different Visualization Venues

Discussing a poster

I recently got an email from a colleague with the subject, “Academic research, is it all bad?” He had looked at a paper presented at a VIS workshop that people were pointing to on Twitter, and had found it lacking (“it’s just a blog posting”). While there are high-quality venues for visualization research, it’s not easy to be sure which ones are good, and which ones are lower quality.