Best of the visualisation web… August 2012

At the end of each month I pull together a collection of links to some of the most relevant, interesting or thought-provoking web content I’ve come across during the previous month. If you follow me on Twitter you will see many of these items shared as soon as I find them.

This was a slightly quieter month than normal (holidays, the world’s focus on the Olympics) so here’s a single collection from August 2012:

Moebio | Santiago performs one of his classic imaginative visualisation experiments using FatFonts (don’t use if you’ve got a headache!) | Experiment

The Functional Art | Features the video ‘Inge Druckrey: Teaching to See’, the documentary produced by Edward Tufte and his wife | Video

Stamen | Another month, another map rendering from the giants of the game, Stamen – this time is ‘Burning Maps’ | Mapping | Exploring a range of different visualisations around tv, film or other cinematic/moving images | Article/collection | Narrative of the design process behind the winning entry to’s Olympics viz contest | Narrative

Eager Eyes | Critical review from Robert following his attendance at Edward Tufte’s one day training course | Article | Very good article on the different design options for creating interactive visualisations | Article

emoto | A collection of all the blog posts emerging from the incredible emoto project, providing analysis around the sentiment from tweets about the Olympics | Article

Wired | Fascinating sculpture made by an electric saw introduced to a pile of Wired magazines | Sculpture

New York Times | Interactive slideshow from the NYT about the rise of Olympic stars through twitter | Interactive/Slideshow

Washington Post | Interesting analysis by WaPo on the age distribution of Olympians in different sports | Interactive

Charts’n’things | A number of great process narratives behind the exceptional series of Olympics graphics produced by the New York Times: Sketches from One Race, Every Medalist Ever, Why Amanda Cox should be in charge of audio, Shifts in rankings and All the passes – U.S. women’s soccer | Narratives

Think Datavis | Displaying the average longitude/latitude of medals won from the 2012 London Summer Olympics | Visualisation

The Functional Art | Alberto discussed visual poetry and information graphics | Article

BBC | An interesting white paper published in February from the BBC R&D department titled ‘Sports TV Applications of Computer Vision’ | Paper

Column Five | Another interesting interview with the peerless Nigel Holmes on his 50 years of designing infographics | Interview

BBC Click | Article about the ‘age of information overload’ | Article

Colour Lovers | A Visual History of Colour in Movie Posters | Gallery

New York Times | Drought and Deluge in the Lower 48 | Interactive

New York Times | Another view of the drought situation in the US | Interactive

Visual Loop | Interview with the one and only Santiago Ortiz | Interview

Guardian Datablog | Initial analysis from the great data release made available by Manchester City FC | Interactive

extent (PNW) | Mapping the streets of Portland using colour patterns for the address numbers | Visualisation

FastCo Design | “Hate Your Office? Take A Look At Some Of The World’s Most Creative Work Spaces” | Gallery

Wired | Article about Tableau ‘Tableau Software: Dataviz with a Pixar touch’ | Article

Distant Shape | Fascinating visualisation which analyses Apple’s transition from desktop to mobile based on ‘Daring Fireball’ article subjects | Article

School of Data | Report on a workshop that took place in India | Article


Periscopic | A great (and occasionally depressing) work to explore the different ages that people achieved great things in film, music and writing | Interactive

Timely Portfolio | Comprehensive piece about horizon graphs, including Mike Bostock video and different approaches | Article

Chengyin | WhatFont tool helps you determine the type or font used on web page – brilliantly useful | Tool

e-flux | Great idea, to bring together examples of projects that never saw the light of day – ‘A call for unrealized projects’ | Article

Silicon Angle | “Data Art vs. Visualization? The Distinction is Unproductive, says Artist Jer Thorp [Q&A]” | Interview

NPR | ‘Wildfire danger’ – map showing current large wildfires and forecast burning conditions in the lower 48 states | Interactive

UX Blog | Hurricanes since 1851 | Article

O’Reilly Strata | ‘Lies, damn lies, and visualizations: The intersection – and accompanying questions – of data science and journalism’ | Article

Mashable | How NASA Makes Scientific Data Beautiful | Article

The Listening Machine | ‘The Listening Machine is an automated system that generates a continuous piece of music based on the activity of 500 Twitter users around the United Kingdom’ | Audio/Visualisation

Cooper | Interesting take: ‘The best interface is no interface’ | Article

FastCo Design | Useful tips for startups on an important issue in business – avoiding being screwed over | Article

Washington Post | Political Geography of the GOP convention floor | Infographic

Creative Bits | The art of animation and motion graphics | Video


Presenting the top five most popular posts on Visualising Data during August:

The design process behind ‘The pursuit of faster’ project

Guest post: How Governments can better use data visualization

Best of the visualisation web… July 2012 (part 1)

The wonderful NYT series of Olympics graphics

Announcing my data visualisation training course schedule

Various updates: Big Dive EU, visiting South Africa and II-SDV Conference

Just wanted to share details of a few things that are going on now, soon or in the future, but might be of interest to some of you.

Big Dive EU

Its a great pleasure to have been invited to be a guest speaker at the upcoming Big Dive EU event in Turin, Italy which is a significant event running from Monday 1st through to Friday 26th October.

The idea behind BIG DIVE is to boost the growth of a new generation of developers. A street-fighting gym where high value datasets are the raw material in the hands of a bunch of ambitious smart geeks tutored and mentored by experts in three key areas: Development, Visualization and Data Science.

I am delighted to be attending and delivering a talk on Friday 19th about storytelling with data. Many thanks to Fabio Franchino of ToDo (@todotoit – check out their impressive design work) and all other organisers for having me along.

Data visualisation training in South Africa

On Monday I will be setting off for one of the most exciting opportunities I’ve had in my career to date. It is an amazing privilege to have been invited by Media24 (@media24), Africa’s leading publishing group, to deliver three data visualisation training events in Johannesburg (2) and Cape Town (1) between the 3rd and 9th of October. These special one-and-a-half day courses will be delivered to delegates a wide range of different roles and backgrounds from reporters, graphic designers, editors and web publishers. I can’t wait to get down there and experience my first visit to the continent.

Talk and training at the 2013 II-SDV conference

The annual II-SDV conference (International Information Conference on Search, Data Mining and Visualization) is taking place in Nice, France on 15-16 April of next year. I will be doing a talk at the event and then running a special half-day training workshop on the 17th. Registration is not currently open yet for the workshop but I will post an update when it is, as well all the details about what is being covered. So, if you’re from that part of the world or just need an excuse to go to the Côte d’Azur (as if you need one) then check out this event.

Talk slides: Big Data World, Europe conference

Last month I introduced the Big Data World, Europe 2012 conference, which took place this week. For those of you interesting in advancing 61 slides, here is a SlideShare version of my presentation.

Andy Kirk talk at Big Data World Europe, September 2012 from Andy Kirk

Coming soon… ‘Data Visualization: a successful design process’

To explain my current silence on the blogging front, here’s just a very brief teaser for my forthcoming book titled ‘Data Visualization: a successful design process’ and due to be published in late November (despite what it says on the site).

I will be sharing more details about the book in a few weeks’ time once I’ve finalised the majority of the final draft that I’m currently working hard on to finish as soon as possible.

Registration now open: Data visualisation training courses

I recently announced the dates of my forthcoming schedule of public training courses and now you can register to book your place on these events.

The schedule is repeated below. To register simply click on the link for the event of your choice and follow the instructions on the EventBrite registration page. Hopefully this will provide you with a simple, effective and efficient way to book your place but do let me know if you have experience any problems.

Payments can be made using a variety of online methods, whether it be through paypal directly or indirectly as a guest paying via a range of different credit card types. Please note that payments are taken in GBP and will be converted accordingly if you are outside the UK. If an online payment does not suit your requirements, just get in touch with your preferred payment method (such as BACS or cheque via invoice).

For further details about these training courses visit the training page or just contact me via email with your specific query.

Please note that venue details are still to be confirmed in the majority of cases though these will be typically conveniently and centrally located in each location.


London Monday 24th September Sold out
Dublin Monday 19th November Eventbrite - Introduction to Data Visualisation, Training Course - Dublin (DUB2)
Manchester Thursday 22nd November Eventbrite - Introduction to Data Visualisation, Training Course - Manchester (MAN1)
Berlin Tuesday 27th November Eventbrite - Introduction to Data Visualisation, Training Course - Berlin (BER1)
Paris Thursday 29th November Eventbrite - Introduction to Data Visualisation, Training Course - Paris (PAR1)
London Monday 3rd December Eventbrite - Introduction to Data Visualisation, Training Course - London (LON6)
Seattle Wednesday 9th January Eventbrite - Introduction to Data Visualisation, Training Course - Seattle (SEA1)
San Francisco Friday 11th January Eventbrite - Introduction to Data Visualisation, Training Course - San Francisco (SAN1)
Los Angeles Monday 14th January Eventbrite - Introduction to Data Visualisation, Training Course - Los Angeles (LAX1)