Malofiej 20

Back in December I expressed my great delight at having been invited to judge, speak and attend the 20th Malofiej Infographics World Summit. Well, time has sped by and on Saturday I will be flying over to Pamplona to kick off this prestigious week long event - as Robert Kosara put it, the Pulitzer Prize of Information Graphics.

You'll see the fabulous array of speakers by clicking on the image below to access the main event's programme of talks and presentations. I'm really looking forward to meeting in person many of the heroes and heroines of the visualisation and information graphics field.

The title of my own talk will be “Showcase of data visualisation techniques for thriving in the age of Big Data” and this is an abstract of what I'll be covering and why:

In this era of Big Data, with the recording, storage and access to vast quantities of data increasing at such an incredible rate, the opportunity for newspapers and other media organisations to extract key insight and unlock the stories contained within also increases. Facilitating such enlightenment is the objective of data visualisation. In this presentation we will be showcasing some of the best contemporary visualisation projects from prominent designers across the globe, with a focus on identifying the most effective techniques, methods and resources being used today.

During the course of the week I will be trying to keep a frequent update of insights, discoveries and thoughts emerging from this event. I may even try experiment with some live blogging during the talks, but we'll see how that idea develops...

Big Data Con

As well as Malofiej, in the next few weeks I will be giving a similar talk at the Big Data Con event in Mainz, Germany. It sounds a really good event but due to commitments either side of the day on which I am speaking (17th April) I will be jetting in and back out of Frankfurt within the day and so will not be able to get the most value out of the great set of speakers and topics.

General Site News

Updates and blogging frequency has been patchy over the past few weeks as my schedule has been jam packed. It is very frustrating because there has been so much good content, new projects and general developments to base posts around. Apart from the Malofiej posts there will likely be continued irregularity to my posting through to April. However, from mid-April onwards a number of factors in my currently rather hectic life will clear up and you will start to see much more prolific activity. I am also going to be working hard during the Spring/Summer months to put into place a brand new site design which will breathe even more life into things. Watch this space...

Charity Walk

Finally, I generally prefer not to merge normal life with visualisation life, but I'm going to make a brief exception for this. On December 15th 2010 a former colleague, Matt, passed away after a prolonged battle with an exceptionally rare form of cancer. Aged only 31 he had barely begun living his life and his best years were ahead.

On May 5th I will be joining a group of Matt's former colleagues and undertaking the Yorkshire Three Peaks challenge, a walking event that involves scaling the peaks of Pen-y-ghent, Whernside and Ingleborough, covering a 24.5 miles distance in under 12 hours. Below is a not-entirely-genuine artist's impression of the walk's typical terrain:

We will be raising money for Matt's favourite charity Operation Smile, a UK based charity which provides free reconstructive surgery to children in the developing world born with cleft lips & palates.

If anybody reading this wishes to make a donation, you can visit the dedicated Just Giving fundraising site which has been set up as a hub for the entire team to build funds. You're contribution will be hugely appreciated. Even if you are not in position to make a donation, then just a visit to the Operation Smile site to increase awareness of their work will be fantastic.

JustGiving - Sponsor me now!

I'm always reluctant to publish fundraising activities because I dislike the implied moral pressure it puts on people so please genuinely don't feel obligated but thanks just for reading this far.

Personal reflections on Malofiej 20
' Create' - Infographic design automation tool