Conventions in visualization can seem arbitrary, and quite a few are. But there is also a vast body of research, and it is growing every day. Just how does visualization research work? How do we learn new things about visualization and how it can and should be used? Continue reading Visualization Research, Part I: Engineering
The U.S. Department of Education just released an amazing dataset about the costs of going to college, earnings potential, etc. They’re doing so many things right, it’s really great. But what is still lacking is the metadata, making analysis harder than it needs to be. Continue reading Why Is Metadata So Hard?
Ben Shneiderman has put together a series of postings about the Pioneers of Human-Computer Interaction (HCI). Each includes a brief biography, some personal notes by Ben, as well as Ben’s photos of them. The latter are particularly remarkable, often going back to the 1980s – like the gem at the top of this page, showing the man himself in 1986.
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
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