Last week, I gave one of the visualization primer talks at BioVis in Dublin. My goal was to show people some examples, but also criticize the rather poor visualization culture in bioinformatics and challenge people to do better. Here is a write-up of that talk. Continue reading Talk: How to Visualize Data
People from Georgia Tech, INRIA, University of Stuttgart, and other institutions have put together a comprehensive dataset of all papers presented at Vis/VisWeek/VIS since 1990. This was first collected for a set of visualizations last year, but has been updated with the 2014 data. They intend on keeping it up to date. Continue reading Link: Visualization Publication Data Collection
In his piece Disinformation Visualization: How to lie with datavis, Mushon Zer-Aviv makes some interesting points about how framing the same data differently in visualization can make a big difference. Using the example of the abortion debate, he shows the usual chart tricks, cherry-picking, subsetting, etc., that is done to make the data support a particular story. Continue reading Link: Disinformation Visualization
I attended EuroVis 2015 last week in Cagliari, Sardinia. This is the second-most important conference in the academic visualization world, and there were plenty of good sessions to choose from (full and short papers, state-of-the-art reports, and industry sessions). Continue reading Report: EuroVis 2015
Information graphics often use variations and embellishments of standard charts that may distort the way people read the data. But how bad are these distortions really? In a paper to be presented at EuroVis this week, Drew Skau, Lane Harrison, and I tested their effects in an experiment. Continue reading Paper: An Evaluation of the Impact of Visual Embellishments in Bar Charts
Feedback loops are a common concept in engineering. When it comes to giving talks, academics would do well to apply some of the thinking behind them to improve their output by observing how it deviates from the desired one, and making changes to adjust it. Continue reading Feedback Loops for Better Talks
Wayne Lytle created this video about the Viz-O-Matic that provides lots of tools to make visualization glitzier. It’s a nice little spoof, and a throwback to the computer graphics of the early 1990s (it was made for SIGGRAPH 1993). This video was brought up in a discussion about storytelling at CHI last week, though I don’t think that its lessons are very deep on that subject.
Last week, I had the pleasure of attending the CHI 2015 conference in Seoul, South Korea. CHI technically stands for Computer-Human Interaction, but it has become a name rather than an acronym in recent years. And CHI’s scope is very broad, it covers many areas that are not strictly part of HCI (Human-Computer Interaction – why use one acronym when you can have two?). Continue reading Conference Report: CHI 2015
Lena Groeger (of ProPublica) has written a beautiful piece about the Power of Wee Things. She talks about using small things, multiples, and units to display data and get people interested. The article goes through many, many examples covering many different areas and ideas. She also gave a great talk on the topic at OpenVis 2014.
On a somewhat related note, Jake Harris wrote about the importance of individual items in data journalism and visualization, and how to connect with them. The two pieces work very well together to illustrate a way of visualizing data that is often overlooked.