The Point Of A Chart

When creating charts, it’s important to pick the one that actually fits not just the data, but the task. That can require going outside your comfort zone to use something beyond the four or five most common chart types. Here is an example where the original chart does not support comparison between two different sets of numbers, but it’s easy to fix. Continue reading The Point Of A Chart

Link: Visualization Publication Data Collection

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

Link: Disinformation Visualization

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

Paper: An Evaluation of the Impact of Visual Embellishments in Bar Charts

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

Video: The Danger of Glitziness

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.

Conference Report: CHI 2015

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