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Visualization and Visual Communication

What's happening in information visualization? Robert Kosara digests new and emerging developments and explores what we know and don't know – so we can be less wrong about visualization.

Huge Percentages Are Meaningless

Percentages are incredibly useful when talking about how something is a part of something larger: this many percent tax, that many percent of people are unemployed, etc. When percentages are much larger than 100, however, they lose their meaning and their usefulness. Unfortunately, they seem to be increasingly common.

Sonification: The Power, The Problems

Sonification turns data into sound, just like visualization turns data into pictures. Except it's a lot more complicated and limited. Something about sonification has always bugged me, and I think I've finally figured out what: the crowding on the time axis. I've also recently discovered some of the powers of sonification, though.