Review: Kraak, Mapping Time

Can you write an entire book about a single chart? Even if that chart is supposedly the best one ever? Menno-Jan Kraak’s new book, Mapping Time: Illustrated by Minard’s Map of Napoleon’s Russian Campaign of 1812, discusses the historical context of Minard’s work, his, life, and walks through a number of design exercises to show the same or similar data in different ways. Continue reading Review: Kraak, Mapping Time

Review: Alberto Cairo, The Functional Art

When Alberto Cairo first told me about the book he was writing, called The Functional Art, he warned me that only a small part of it was going to be about visualization. I have no idea what he was talking about, the book I read was a visualization book from start to finish. It is one of the most interesting and insightful books on the topic I have read in a while. Continue reading Review: Alberto Cairo, The Functional Art

My Review of Visualize This and Visual Complexity for Science Magazine

I was asked to write a review of two recent visualization books for Science: Nathan Yau’s Visualize This and Manuel Lima’s Visual Complexity. The piece appeared in the last issue of 2011, right before Christmas. Below is a link to the review and some additional comments on it and the two books. Continue reading My Review of Visualize This and Visual Complexity for Science Magazine

Review: Kaiser Fung, Numbers Rule Your World

Numbers Rule Your World

You all know what statistics is, right? I mean, everybody knows. But if you had to explain why it’s useful, and what it’s useful for, would you have an answer? Do you know how statistics makes a difference in all our lives, all the time? Even if you (think you) do, check out Kaiser Fung’s book, Numbers Rule Your World. Continue reading Review: Kaiser Fung, Numbers Rule Your World

Review: Cornelia Dean, Am I Making Myself Clear?

The first episode of season 4 of Mad Men opens with Don Draper being interviewed by a journalist. He doesn’t tell him anything that’s of interest and then dodges the question Who is Don Draper? by claiming that he was taught as a child not to talk about himself. Scientists do an equally terrible job at communication, and for many of the same reasons. Cornelia Dean’s book Am I Making Myself Clear? offers fascinating insights into both journalism and science, and provides concrete ideas for how to do better. Continue reading Review: Cornelia Dean, Am I Making Myself Clear?