I’ve written a short piece about the Tapestry conference for the Graphically Speaking column in Computer Graphics and Applications. The article talks about the reasoning behind Tapestry, how it’s different from academic conferences, and gives a few examples of talks. It even includes anecdotal evidence to show that the conference has enabled actual knowledge transfer. Continue reading Link: CG&A Article on Tapestry
Showing data isn’t always about trying to convey an insight, or giving people the means to understand the intricacies of data. It can also be a tool to communicate a fact, an amount, or an issue beyond just the sheer numbers. Data illustration is poorly understood, but it can be very powerful. Continue reading The Value of Illustrating Numbers
The Graphic Continuum is a poster created by Jon Schwabish and Severino Ribecca (the man behind the Data Visualisation Catalogue). It lists almost 90 different chart types and organizes them into five large groups: distribution, time, comparing categories, geospatial, part-to-whole, and relationships. Some of them are connected across groups where there are further similarities.
The poster is printed very nicely and makes for a great piece of wall art to stare at when thinking about data, and maybe to get an idea for what new visualization to try.
An article in the Publications of the American Statistical Association by the Joint Committee on Standards for Graphic Presentation laid down some standards for how to create good data visualizations. In 1915. The chairman of that committee was none other than Willard C. Brinton, author of the highly opinionated (and much more complete) Graphic Methods for Presenting Facts. Andy Cotgreave is collecting some tidbits and highlights from Brinton’s books.
In this talk, Nigel Holmes talks about the value of and use of humor in communicating visualization. He also has some interesting criticism of academic visualization research (and also some more artistic pieces). It’s a fun and interesting talk, as always with Nigel Holmes.
The paper Becksploitation: The Over-Use of a Cartographic Icon by Kenneth Field and William Cartwright (free pre-print PDF) in The Cartographic Journal describes the Harry Beck’s famous map of the London Underground and what makes it great. It also offers a collection of misuses of the superficial structure, and critiques them. I wish we’d had papers (and titles!) like this in visualization.
The paper is available online for free for the next twelve months, along with a selection of other Editor’s Choice papers (including Jack van Wijk’s Myriahedral Projections paper – watch the video if you haven’t seen it). Continue reading Link: Becksploitation: The Over-Use of a Cartographic Icon
When visualizing data, we often strive for efficiency: show the data, nothing else. But there can be tremendous value in redundancy to make a point and drive it home. Two recent examples from news graphics illustrate this nicely. Continue reading Spelling Things Out
Tapestry 2015 will take place March 4 in Athens, GA. This is the third time we are holding the conference, and it is again taking place on the day before NICAR. As in the past years, have a kick-ass line-up of speakers. The keynotes will be given by Hannah Fairfield (NY Times), Kim Rees (Periscopic), and Michael Austin (Useful Fictions). We also have a great set of short stories speakers: Chad Skelton (Vancouver Sun), Ben Jones (Tableau Public), Katie Peek (Popular Science), RJ Andrews (Info We Trust), and Kennedy Elliott (Washington Post).
On the website, you can watch a brief video summary (click on See what Tapestry is all about) or see all the talk videos from last year. We have also posted information on how to get there, and there will be a bus to take you to NICAR after the event.
Time is running out to apply for an invitation if you want to attend. Attendance is limited, and we’re trying to keep the event small and focused.
A paper on a specific cognitive mechanism may seems like an odd choice as the first paper in this series, but it is the one that sparked the idea for it. It is also the one that has its 30th birthday this year, having been published in August 1985. And it is an important paper, and could play an even bigger role in visualization if properly understood and used. Continue reading Seminal InfoVis Paper: Treisman, Preattentive Processing
Some of the most fundamental and important papers in information visualization are around 30 years old. This is interesting for several reasons. For one, it shows that the field is still very young. Most research fields go back much, much further. Even within such a short time frame, though, there is a danger of not knowing some of the most important pieces of research. Continue reading Seminal InfoVis Papers: Introduction