I have started a new blog, which I call shift register. It’s about electronics projects I’m doing, mostly building circuits on breadboards and playing with Arduinos.
The shape of a dataset is hugely important to how well it can be handled by different software. The shape defines how it is laid out: wide as in a spreadsheet, or long as in a database table. Each has its use, but it’s important to understand their differences and when each is the right choice. Continue reading Spreadsheet Thinking vs. Database Thinking
Personified user interfaces, like chat bots or agents, are the new thing once again. But despite advances in artificial intelligence, they still have many issues and drawbacks compared to direct-manipulation interfaces. There was a debate around these interfaces in the 1990s, and it seems to be bound to repeat itself. Continue reading The Personified User Interface Trap
The history of data journalism goes back much farther than most people assume. Long before computers or punch cards, and before even the first newspapers the way we know them today, data was being published. ProPublica’s Scott Klein has been digging up a lot of interesting history. Continue reading Links: Scott Klein on the History of Data Journalism
Much of academic work is focused on writing papers. This doesn’t just include the work that goes into the research and the writing, but also strategy – beyond the single paper. Here is one that worked. Even if it’s a bit coincidental, I think it’s a good model for other papers. Continue reading The Two-Paper Package
You may think that the debate over pie charts was a new one, but it has raged on for at least 100 years. Brinton started it in 1914, and great drama unfolded in the pages of the Journal of the American Statistical Association in the 1920s. Continue reading Ye Olde Pie Chart Debate
Oh hello, new year! I almost didn’t see you there! Lots of interesting things happened last year: Dear Data, deceptive visualization, storytelling research, new tools and ideas, etc. And this year is already shaping up to be quite strong, too. Continue reading The State of Information Visualization, 2016
A bit late, but here are links to a few round-ups of graphical journalism work from last year. These are always worth a look, no matter what time of year. Continue reading 2015 Year in Graphics Links
Late last year, Tamara Munzner started a blog, called Vis & More. So far, she mostly writes in response to Stephen Few’s postings late last year about some recent visualization papers. Her style is quite academic (most of her posting titles start with “On”…), but very readable and she has lots of interesting things to say. Continue reading Link: Tamara Munzner Has A Blog!
Presentation is often considered a part of visualization, but what does that mean for the kinds of techniques we use? Are they the same as used for analysis? What criteria should we use to pick them? In a new paper, I discuss a class of techniques I call presentation-only.