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IEEE VIS Pointers and Running

VIS is around the corner, taking place in Baltimore next week. Here are some pointers to a handful of interesting papers, as well as how to catch one of my live performances or attend the blogging and podcasting meetup – plus a reminder to bring your running shoes!

In case this seems familiar: Vis was in Baltimore in 2006 – exactly ten years ago! I took the picture you see above back then.

Three Interesting Papers

Here are three papers I'm already intrigued by. This is not based on any sort of systematic review of all the paper titles, I just happened to see them in various places (not as a reviewer, in case you were wondering).

The folks at the UW Interactive Data Lab have a paper titled Surprise Maps that tries to fix the common problem with maps that they all show the same thing: population. They've written a nice blog posting explaining the idea at some length.

Data-Driven Guides by folks at Harvard and Adobe Research is sure to raise some hackles and get some discussions going. It's a design tool to make infographics based on numbers, strongly inspired by Nigel Holmes' information graphics pieces. Yes, the monster makes an appearance.

Lane Harrison and his students have an interesting new take on interaction history in visualization with HindSight: Encouraging Exploration through Direct Encoding of Personal Interaction History. This is interesting because showing interaction history seems like a good idea, but the attempts so far haven't been terribly successful. So it's interesting to see a new take that might finally be worthwhile.

Where I'll Be

But enough about others, back to me. Here's my plan for the week so far.

I should also mention that I will have a new batch of the legendary eagereyes business cards. They now sport the new logo and come in several different designs. Collect them all! Trade them! Use them to build a new society on the smoking ruins of this one!


Just like in the last few years, I will organize a little run in the morning. This is as low-key as it gets: show up and run, that's all it takes. We'll be aiming for 30-45 minutes, or about 3-5mi (5-8km). We're not setting any speed or distance records, the point is simply to get a little exercise before sitting the entire day.

We'll meet at 7am in the lobby of the conference hotel and take off from there. We'll be back in time for you to take a shower and grab some breakfast before the first session. Rain and other minor weather incidents are no excuse to not run. Baltimore should be warmer and much less windy than Chicago was last year. Bring some layers if you need to, but we'll be running unless there's a hurricane, volcano eruption, the apocalypse, or similar.

I'm having minor surgery just before VIS (topical given the name of my website), and I assume that I'll be able to run by Monday (I'm not supposed to exercise for a few days). So if you want to make sure, drop me an email so I know you're interested and can let you know in case I can't make it. The plan is to run Monday through Thursday, and potentially also Friday (though I might skip that one since I'm leaving soon after the closing session Friday afternoon).

Other than that: Come for the exercise, stay for the sweaty, awkward selfies at the end!

Blogging and Podcasting Meetup

Interested in blogging? Want to start your own blog? Need some motivation to revive that blog you started years ago? Curious about branching out into podcasting even?

Jessica Hullman, Enrico Bertini, and I are organizing a blogging and podcasting meetup on Wednesday (October 26) at 1pm in room Peale C. Grab some food after the morning session and then come to the meetup well-fed but still hungry for information! We'll chat about our experiences and answer your questions. You might even get a live performance of Enrico doing his Data Stories opening!

Speaking of which, my new website has a blogroll! You should check it out. Also, if you're using feedly, you can add all those feeds to your feedly by just clicking a button somewhere on the feedly collection page I've made just for you!

As in the past years, I will be tweeting about papers being presented and write a few blog posts during the week or right after. I don't have a clear idea yet how many postings and when they will go live, it's going to depend on how many things there are that I feel are worth writing about.

This will be my 16th Vis/VisWeek/VIS in a row. I'm looking forward to seeing everybody there!

Posted by Robert Kosara on October 18, 2016. Filed under IEEEVIS.