10 significant visualisation developments: January to June 2015

To mark each mid-year and end of year milestone I try to take a reflective glance over the previous 6 months period in the data visualisation field and compile a collection of some of the most significant developments. These are the main projects, events, new sites, trends, personalities and general observations that have struck me as being important to help further the development of this field.

At the end of December I published a collection for the last 6 months of 2014 and now I’d like to reflect on the opening 6 months of 2015. I look forward to hearing from you with suggestions for the developments you believe have been most significant.

And so, as ever, in no particular order…

1. Tessellations of the Nations

Cartogram

If you’ve not tripped over a hexagon or squarified grid map during 2015 you’re not doing this ‘tracking the visualisation field’ right. They are everywhere and have stirred much debate, in the US especially, about their use and their optimum formation (FlowingData, David Yanofsky, NPR). The UK has seen its fair share too, from the BBC’s flagship election night outdoor graphic, other newspaper’s coverage or After The Flood’s ‘London Squared‘ work, and Europe too, with David Taylor’s offering. Some experiments have got a little extreme but let’s not rule out, just yet, the emergence of the lizard grid map being the star of the remainder of 2015.

2. Mobile or desktop first?

MobileDesktop

This is perhaps not much of a surprise but feels like a worthwhile signpost for observing increasing conversations and experimental techniques concerning the desktop-mobile multi-platform conundrum. Driven largely by newspaper and media organisations facing growing proportion of visitors landing on their content via mobile, it is more than just about responsive design, it is about fundamental publishing strategies. The question of desktop-first or mobile-first is not just about following trends of web design in genreal. For some the mobile is now the primary landing place and so visual projects will be increasingly designed to succeed to best effect with device dimensions and capabilities in mind. For others, the canvas of the desktop will always be preferred as the best way to fully express the breadth, depth and potential functionality of advanced visualisation work – the mobile version will be where the compromise exists. This was expressed to some degree by Scott Klein (in Oct 2014) when describing ProPublica’s tactics for translating desktop projects onto mobile being either to ‘smallify or simplify’. NPR’s Brian Boyer recently tweeted the notion of “small multiples on desktop, gifs on your phone” when discussing this Walmart project. The DearDesignStudent

I really loved reading the growing collection of articles in the ‘advice publication’ Dear Design Student, launched by editors Mike Monteiro, Jennifer Daniel and several others (not to relegate their role, Mike and Jennifer are just the names through which I learned about it). The intention of Dear Design Student is to offer “advice on design from people who work for a living” and whilst it goes far beyond the boundaries of data visualisation – design in general – and is aimed at those beginning or thinking about launching their journey into this world, there is already tons of wisdom that is useful for anyone. With a growing band of contributing writers hopefully the initial momentum will be maintained and the excellent content will continue. Send them questions and they will answer…

4. Mike Bostock’s New Chapter

Bostock

This is probably the epitome of a ‘significant development’. One of the biggest news items so far in 2015 was the Twitter announcement from Mike, made on May the 4th (oh, I see what he did there…), that he was leaving the New York Times graphics team to spend his time developing visualisation tools: “It’s hard to go beyond incremental maintenance of open-source projects while publishing on deadline. Long thoughts take time. And there’s still lots of room for improvement in visualization tools, particularly for discovery. Need less arcana, better interaction. Don’t have the answer yet, but it’s what I want to focus on. So, here I go. Adventure!”. Given Mike’s track record and seismic contributions to the field already one can only be rather excited at the prospect. Good luck Mike!

5. Guardian Graphics

TheGuardian

Over the past few ’10 significant’ collections I have profiled the quality of work coming from the Washington Post and the Financial Times, now it is the turn of The Guardian, and specifically the UK operation. It wasn’t so long ago that the dynamic work and profile of the Guardian Data Blog was hugely influencing the prominence of the data-driven movement away from the fringes and increasingly into mainstream consciousness. Following the departures of significant names responsible for the newspaper’s growth on this front and also for its most celebrated visual output (such as Simon Rogers, Michael Robinson and Alastair Dant, to name but a few), it would be fair to say the Guardian’s UK work (the US team kept the momentum going) dropped somewhat off the radar for 2-3 years. The London visuals team have now re-emerged helped by some class signings bolstering existing talents such as Aron Pilhofer, Xaquín González Veira, Feilding Cage, Carlo Zapponi, Giulio Frigieri, Cath Levett, Pablo Gutiérrez, and Daan Louter as well as several others I’m sure to have forgotten. Their work before, during, and after the UK Election was particularly outstanding. My only wish would be that they create a single place to collect and publish all their work as most other newspapers have done…

6. Writer’s Block

SmallMedia

I thought this was a beautifully designed and astutely judged project looking at the story of censorship in Iran and produced by the team at Small Media. Aside from the evidently deep research that went into curating the content – in what I can imagine is a data-dark topic – the interactive digital version is a real joy to work through, with innovation and astute flourishes coming out of every pore. There is also a printable report version which is wonderful to see being offered as an alternative package. Do yourself a favour and give yourself time to fully consume the content of the project, not just skimming the design surface.

7. Mike Monteiro IxDA Talk

MikeMonteiro

A second entry for Mike Monteiro in this list. Titled ’13 Ways Designers Screw Up Client Presentations’, I found this Keynote Mike gave at Interaction Design Association 2015 conference offered some extremely valuable insights. Whether you are working as a freelancer or studio/agency or even just in an organisational setting with ‘internal’ clients, this talk will give you some super helpful tips. For those with no patience to watch a 1hr video, here is a companion article available on Medium.

8. Dear Data

DearData

Another entry that contains ‘Dear…’ something in the title (is that a meta-trend in itself?). Dear Data is a lovely, year-long ‘artisan’ visualisation project by Giorgia Lupi and Stefanie Posavec that explores “how two girls who switched continents get to know each other through a collection of handmade postcards: small data-driven self-portraits they draw and send across the pond each week”. Using postcards as their canvas, they hand draw visual depictions about the weekly themes they select based on the primary data they collect. Pen pals for the modern age.

9. Design/Redesign

DesignRedesign

The nature of criticism in data visualisation is something that has been a concern to me for a few years now (2012 article). For the field to develop then constructive critique is absolutely, well, critical. However, I do believe we collectively, as a field, need to be better at delivering on the key word there – constructive. Maybe due to the nature of Twitter being so popular for data visualisation content discussions yet offering a relatively poor platform for holding conversations especially with nuanced debate we have veered off track a little again. This excellent piece by Fernanda and Martin presents some really valuable critique of the standard of criticism in the field and I urge everyone to read it and practice what it recommends. “We need more criticism, and redesign is an essential part of visualization criticism. But with so much of it happening on the web — in public, instantly in view of everyone involved, available to the world without context or preparation — it can be a difficult process. In this [article] our goal has been to start a conversation about how criticism can be most productive, and cause the least stress, for those involved.” Let me emphasise the word collectively – I certainly recognise that I need to do a hell of a lot better myself at this and this recent post was an attempt to demonstrate this.

10. What is code?

WhatIsCode

An outstanding article that, simply put, answers the question it poses by providing deep historical, practical, and technical insights that make it a truly accessible read for the non-expert and enlightening even for the expert, I’m sure. It is a long read – 31,558 words to be precise – but for any non-programming data visualiser out there it offers a wonderful entry point into this world and is well worth your time.

Special mentions…

Here are the other highlights from the first half of 2015 that deserve a special mention:

America Changes Its Mind | There’s something about this project that really struck a chord with me. I just thought it was such a clear and well-executed profile of the interesting dynamics of change in the US covering some of the most compelling current topics of concern.

On Repeat | A consecutive yearly mention for one of Lena Groeger’s talks. Last year I loved her ‘Wee things’ presentation at OpenVisConf 2014, this year she followed up with another excellent topic titled ‘That’s the power of loops‘. The main link for this special mention points to the follow-up article that includes so many brilliant examples.

Statistical Atlas of the United States | Great project from Nathan Yau to recreate the Statistical Atlas, historically produced by the Census Bureau until cuts took hold, using data from the 2010 Census and deliberately employing similar ‘vintage’ styling to the original from 1874.

Mr Chart Maker | I wasn’t there in person but heard so many echoes of ‘wow’ following coverage of NICAR 2015 about from Gregor Aisch’s lightning talk where he presented his Mr Chart Maker tool, developed internally for creating charts at TheUpshot. Sadly, I wouldn’t hold your breath waiting for this to be Open Source, not through a lack of will but down to the incredible amount of hidden work that goes into such developments. This does seem indicative of a trend for some organisations to construct their own in-house chart-making products.

Best of the visualisation web… June 2015

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. Here’s the latest collection from June 2015.

Visualisations/Infographics

Includes static and interactive visualisation examples, infographics and galleries/collections of relevant imagery.

National Geographic | ‘Graphic Shows Who’s Buying and Selling Animals Globally’

The Guardian | ‘Ever wondered what monetary policy would sound like if it was a piece of music?’

Flowing Data | Lovely project by Nathan to recreate the original Statistical Atlas of the United States with current data

Bloomberg | ‘What’s really warming the world?’

Guardian | ‘Gay rights in the US, state by state’ *Updated 26 June 2015*

New York Times | ‘Germany’s prolific offense vs. United States’ stingy defense’

FiveThirtyEight | Sankey-like diagrams profiling predictions for the 2015 Women’s World Cup

ProPublica | Interactive voyage exploring the ‘Robot River’ – “The Colorado River — the most important water source for 40 million people in the West — is draining.”

Tempescope | ‘Ambient weather display for your home’

Small Media | ”Writer’s Block’ looks at the past, present, and future of the Iranian publishing sector by visualising the contents of Iran’s Book House’

WSJ | ‘One-Man Army: This interactive shows the involvement of the self-described “best player in the world” in each point scored by the Cavaliers in the NBA Finals.’

UXBlog | ‘UFO Sightings’

The Upshot | ‘Where Same-Sex Couples Live’

Morgenpost | ‘Where the population of Europe is growing – and where it’s declining’

Articles

The emphasis on these items is that they are less about visualisation images and are more article-focused, so includes discussion, discourse, interviews and videos

Eager Eyes | Report on experiences at EuroVis 2015

Data Remixed | Three part series by Ben mapping the paradox of clarity vs. aesthetics

ProPublica | ‘On Repeat: How to Use Loops to Explain Anything’ super article by Lena building on a talk she gave at OpenVisConf 2015

Cartonerd | Kenneth discusses colour and maps

Quartz | ‘It’s OK not to start your y-axis at zero’

FastCo Design | ‘The Fascinating Science Of Aesthetics’

Medium | “Design can change the world. Are you kidding me?” Jennifer Daniel provides smelling salts in word form

FastCo Design | ‘The Problem With The Color Blue’

KnightBlog | Relevant piece about creating for mobile: ‘Meeting readers where they are, with the information they need’

PolicyViz | ‘PolicyViz Podcast Episode #12: Scott Klein’

City Lab | ‘When Maps Lie: Tips from a geographer on how to avoid being fooled.’

National Geographic | ‘Even Graphics Can Speak With a Foreign Accent’

Medium | ‘Technology and The Evolution of Storytelling’ by John Lasseter

Learning & Development

These links cover presentations, tutorials, learning opportunities, case-studies, how-tos etc.

Gravy Anecdote | ‘Which chart should you use to show this data?’ nice demonstration of the variety of ways of charting even a relatively simple dataset

Bloomberg | One of the best things I’ve seen this year: A 38,000-word essay ‘What is code?’

LinkedIn | John Nelson’s ‘Excel Map Hack’

PJIM | Latest edition of Parson’s Journal for Information Mapping, Volume VII, Issue 2

Subject News

Includes announcements within the field, brand new sites, new (to me) sites, new books and generally interesting developments.

Perceptual Edge | New book: ‘Signal’ by Steven Few

Computerworld | ‘IBM to shutter dataviz pioneer Many Eyes’

Scientific American | ‘A Climate Change Data Visualization Gains National Landmark Status’

Popular Science | ‘Popular Science has teamed up with the National Science Foundation to issue a challenge: Can you visualize a scientific idea, concept, or story in an arresting way?’

Adobe | Hopefully ‘Creative Cloud Charts’ will turn out to be great, the preview is hopelessly limited to area-pictograms

Vis Pub Data | ‘We are making available a dataset that contains information on IEEE Visualization (IEEE VIS) publications from 1990-2014.’

Quartz | ‘Atlas, the new home for charts and data’

Quadrigram | Updated version of Quadrigram released

Sundries

Any other items that may or may not be directly linked to data visualisation but might have a data/technology focus or just seem worthy of sharing

Brain Pickings | ‘Famous Advice on Writing: The Collected Wisdom of Great Writers’

YouTube | ‘Landing on Titan: Descent Data Movie with Bells and Whistles’

Tate | Useful resource – ‘Glossary of art terms’

Twitter | ‘Les 3 plus grandes phobies de notre génération.’

British Library | ‘Creating the first ever coastal soundmap of the UK’

Vox | ‘Chart: How Inside Out’s 5 emotions work together to make more feelings’

WSJ | ‘How Do Companies Quietly Raise Prices? They Do This’

Flickr | ‘NASA Graphics Standards Manual’

Out of Play | ‘Out of Play is a new programme of displays, events and installations at the National Football Museum looking at the the ever-changing relationship between football and technology’

Guardian | ‘The American civil war (with) then and now (slider action)’

Best of the visualisation web… May 2015

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. Here’s the latest collection from May 2015.

Visualisations/Infographics

Includes static and interactive visualisation examples, infographics and galleries/collections of relevant imagery.

Homicide Monitor | Some heavy stuff to start this month… ‘Exploring the distribution, dimensions and dynamics of international homicide around the world

Border Deaths | Continuing the uplifting theme… here’s a project that looks at Deaths at the Borders of Southern Europe

The Guardian | ‘The Counted: People killed by police in the US’

Washington Post | ‘Fatal police shootings in 2015 approaching 400 nationwide’

Washington Post | ‘Here’s how much of your life the United States has been at war’

New York Times | ‘How ISIS Expands’

Flowing Data | When data and beer collide: ‘Brewing Multivariate Beer’

Twitter | “Here’s the weather map 70 years ago on #VEDay. Notice the dearth of observations over central Europe.”

5W Blog | ‘Behind the Art with James Gurney’

Chartball | Andrew releases a new set of ‘Baseball Chronology’ posters as featured in an exhibit at Baseball Hall of Fame in 2015

NZZ | ‘Telling the story of one of the greatest adventures in the history of Switzerland: the first ascent of the Matterhorn.’

New York Times | ‘Connecting the Dots Behind the 2016 Presidential Candidates’

Economist | Some nice Sankey diagram action to explain the decisions around the European asylum seeker deluge of applications

Zeit | A FatFonts-like approach here to show average ages across Germany

Info We Trust | Amazing work to visualise the ‘endangered safari’ in static and Tableau – with nice design narrative also

Every Noise | Audio samples of every music genre plotted on a massive scatterplot display

ProPublica | Photo essay and deep interactive map story about ‘Killing the Colorado’

Economist | ‘The tracks of arrears’ nice connected-tadpole-scatter-plot

ConceptViz | ‘Gallery of concept visualization’

NZ Herald | ‘Interactive: Where the Budget money goes’

Internaut Explorer | ‘Internaut Explorer is an experimental visualization of DMOZ, an open-content directory – this interactive map includes 3,809,444 pages’

Animated Data | ‘This is an interactive visualisation of results from Cole Henley’s 2014 Freelance Rates survey.’

Morgenpost | ‘New Berliners and native Berliners – who came, who went and who lives here today’

Fog On Water | ‘Rough experiments in visualising the 2015 New Zealand budget’

FT Data | ‘Shy Tories don’t tweet’

Soundcities | As it says on the tin, this project showcases difference audio soundbites from different parts of the cities of the world

New York Times | ‘The Best and Worst Places to Grow Up: How Your Area Compares’

FT | ‘UK election results explained’

LA Times | ‘Ch-ch-changes: The evolving elements of pop music’

New York Times | ‘Your Contribution to the California Drought’

BuzzFeed | ‘The General Election Result In Maps. Lots Of Maps.’

Washington Post | Richard Johnson brings his incredible artistry to cover ‘The Tsarnaev trial: Drawing a line’

Washington Post | ‘Visualized: How the insane amount of rain in Texas could turn Rhode Island into a lake’

Well-Formed Data | ‘eyeo community visualizations’

FiveThirtyEight | ‘Why The Oldest Person In The World Keeps Dying’ (Love the cumulative charts)

New York Times | ‘You Draw It: How Family Income Predicts Children’s College Chances’

Fallen | ‘The Fallen of World War II’

Articles

The emphasis on these items is that they are less about visualisation images and are more article-focused, so includes discussion, discourse, interviews and videos

Medium | ‘A Design Education Manifesto’

PolicyViz | ‘Ban Bad Presenters, Not PowerPoint’

Medium | Jer Thorp argues the case for turning data into a verb

somethingaboutmaps | ‘Design is human’ article by Daniel Huffman describes how these words capture what doing good design is about

The Guardian | ‘Election aftermath: memos to the media for May 2020’

Data Remixed | Nice article by Ben contrasting doing data visualisation well with the classic concepts of writing well

Future NYT | ‘Review of Interactive Storytelling at the New York Times’

Sports Illustrated | ‘Soccer analytics revolution underway at Benham’s Brentford, Midtjylland’

Medium | Mike Monteiro talks about ‘The Chokehold of Calendars’

HBR | ‘The Persuasiveness of a Chart Depends on the Reader, Not Just the Chart’

Medium | ‘This is what it is like to be charged by a hippopotamus.’

Source | ‘Tracking Amtrak 188: How a quirky data source let us get ahead of the story’

Vizual Statistix | ‘Areal distortion of global map projections’

FastCo Design | ‘What Killed The Infographic?’ (Disagree with much of this piece but it triggered much discussion so needs to be acknowledged)

Medium | ‘Your Project Deserves a Good Death’

Learning & Development

These links cover presentations, tutorials, learning opportunities, case-studies, how-tos etc.

InnoVis | ‘An exploratory study of data sketching for visual representation’

BBC Academy | Skills resource to learn about digital journalism

Tableau | ‘Introducing Lee Wilkinson, Tableau’s New VP of Statistics’

YoutTube | Video introduction to D3 from Curran Kelleher

Infragistics | Nice solution from Tim Brock to visually handle truncated y-axes in line charts

EagerEyes | ‘Paper: An Evaluation of the Impact of Visual Embellishments in Bar Charts’

Dark Horse Analytics | ‘Radar: More Evil Than Pie?’

Instructables | ‘Sketching & Drawing Lessons’

Maarten Lambrechts | ‘To the point: 7 reasons you should use dot graphs’

Jerome Cukier | ‘You may not need d3’

Subject News

Includes announcements within the field, brand new sites, new (to me) sites, new books and generally interesting developments.

WSJ | Incredibly sad news about the passing of WSJ Visuals Deputy Seth Hamblin

Chronographics | Newly discovered site: “Chronographics” featuring lots of innovative examples and discussions about time-related visual displays

The Guardian | ‘Google shuts off Map Maker after urinating robot ruins it for everybody’

Sundries

Any other items that may or may not be directly linked to data visualisation but might have a data/technology focus or just seem worthy of sharing

New York Times | ‘Why Time Stands Still for Watchmakers’ (from 2008 but interesting, for me)

Boredpanda | ‘Artists cut raw food into 98 perfect cubes to make perfectionists hungry’

8by8 | ‘The art of commentary with BBC’s Nick Barnes’

Groupe Societe Generale | Customise your credit card with some self-designed digital art

Eye On Design | ‘Design History 101: How the Rolling Stone Logo Evolved from an Incredible Mistake’

The Playlist | ‘Ranking The 20 Greatest, Most Celebrated Long Takes’

SitComGeek | ‘How to Make a Bad Sitcom’

The Guardian | ‘UsVsTh3m’s demise shows challenge of making news for Facebook’

The Atlantic | ‘The Chinese Art of the Crowd’

Motherboard | ‘The Simple, Elegant Algorithm That Makes Google Maps Possible’

Medium | ‘The View from the Front Seat of the Google Self-Driving Car’

Mother Jones | ‘These Photos of the Vegas Fight and the Baltimore Protests Perfectly Sum Up Inequality in America’

Vox | ‘Why fewer computer graphics make for better movies’

xkcd | ‘The General Problem’

Best of the visualisation web… April 2015

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. Here’s the latest collection from April 2015.

Visualisations/Infographics

Includes static and interactive visualisation examples, infographics and galleries/collections of relevant imagery.

De Statis | Nice interactive violin plot of the population in Germany by gender and over time

Dataphys | …and here’s a 2013 project to show the ‘Walkable Age Pyramid’ of the German population

Wall Street Journal | Collection of interactives celebrating ’50 Years of Avengers’

Tableau Public | A super slick Tableau project by Shine Pulikathara exploring five decades of crime in the US

Wait But Why | Exploring different ways of showing 7.3 billion people

Fast Print | ‘An interactive visualisation of all keyboard shortcuts for Adobe Photoshop CC, Illustrator CC and InDesign CC’

Washington Post | Smart way of showing changes in Arctic ice extent over time (over many years) but when the focus is on the changes by month

SCMP | Exploring ‘China’s overseas investments’ by country over time

JMP Blog | Good effort from Xan Gregg to create a reworked version of the 3D yield curve using JMP

Domestic Streamers | ‘Domestic Data Streamers is a team of developers that have taken on the challenge of transforming raw data into interactive systems and experiences.’

Guardian | Whilst the UK election has been and gone, there are some tremendous techniques on show in this interactive ‘what did the opinion polls say about your seat?’

Telegraph | Whilst we’re talking about the elections, here’s a nice 5-way venn diagram showing the different possible outcomes

Metrocosm | ‘Filmed in NYC’ – mapping 3 years of film permits

Bloomberg | ‘For These 55 Marijuana Companies, Every Day is 4/20’

FastCo Design | ‘From Homer To J.K. Rowling: The World’s Greatest Storytellers, Visualized’

Wall Street Journal | ‘Is the Nasdaq in Another Bubble? A virtual reality guided tour of 21 years of the Nasdaq’

Jill Hubley | ‘NYC Street Trees by Species’

Washington Post | ‘Mapped: How hard it is to get across U.S. cities using only bike lanes’

Washington Post | ‘How happy is your country?’

New York Times | ‘Messenger’s Collision Course With Mercury’

Michael Pecirno | ‘Minimal Maps is an ongoing project that explores how single subject maps can give us new ways to understand our landscape.’

Vimeo | ‘Netherlands from above – Migration of Honey Buzzards’

Quartz | ‘This map shows where the strongest earthquakes are expected to strike

National Geographic | Detailed study of Detroit’s fall and rise

Visual Loop | ‘Revisiting the work of Hugo A. Sanchez’

Yale Environment | Finally a visualisation that merits using the architecture of the periodic table, not sure about the 3D graphic at the bottom though.

TheUpshot | ‘Tax Day: Are You Receiving a Marriage Penalty or Bonus?’

Pew Research Center | Interesting analysis of the ‘Future of World Religions’

Washington Post | ‘The history of American inequality, in 1 fascinating chart’

National Geographic | ‘On the 25th anniversary of the Hubble Space Telescope, explore the servicing missions that have made its 570,000 pictures of the universe possible.’

TheUpshot | ‘The Upshot Is One Year Old Today. Here Are the Stories You Clicked the Most.’ (What an amazing body of work already)

Politico | ‘This graphic shows how America’s partisan divide grew’

Washington Post | ‘An illustrated guide to all 456 deaths in Game of Thrones’

HBR | ‘Visualizing Sun Tzu’s The Art of War’

Articles

The emphasis on these items is that they are less about visualisation images and are more article-focused, so includes discussion, discourse, interviews and videos

VizPainter | A relevant piece about the frustration of dealing with dates in Tableau (though to be honest you could extend that to most applications)

AIGA | ‘The case against paying designers by the hour’

Cartonerd | Kenneth Field explains the three different tests he applies when looking at and critiquing maps

Print Mag | ‘Chromatic Abstraction: Color as Data, Part 1’

Print Mag | …and here’s ‘Chromatic Abstraction: Color as Data, Part 2’ (it is from May but who cares about the rules of this post)

PolicyViz | ‘Communicating research: build a unicorn, don’t look for one’

Eager Eyes | Conference report from CHI 2015

New York Times | From all the way back in 2009, an interview with some of the NYT’s ‘interactive news collaborative’

5W Blog | ‘Is Lego the future of infographics?’

FiveThirtyEight | Like the tilted scatter plot to form the 2×2 matrix

99u | ‘Michael Bierut on Finding Your Voice’

Medium | An interesting and detailed criticism about a NYT visualisation of the Israeli conflict in Gaza (don’t agree with the accusations, knowing the journalists involved in creating the work)

Pew Research Center | ‘State of the News Media 2015’

Wired | ‘The cartographer who is transforming map design’

Guardian | ‘The hidden biases of Geodata’

Yanofksy | ‘There appears to be some disagreement on the location of Alaska’

Scientific American | ‘There’s No Infographic without Info (and other Lessons from Malofiej)’

HBR | ‘What to Do When People Draw Different Conclusions From the Same Data’

ONS | A style guide for the ONS to advise on the most appropriate use of language to use in descriptive commentary

Learning & Development

These links cover presentations, tutorials, learning opportunities, case-studies, how-tos etc.

OpenVisConf | All the videos of the talks at OpenVisConf 2015, presented via the typically brilliantly designed interface

Lena Groeger | One of the talks at OpenVisConf was by Lena titled ‘That’s the Power of Loops’, here are the slides.

Eventbrite | A collection of “D3.js Resources to Level Up”

BBC Internet Blog | ‘8 things I learnt while creating my first animation’

Webstock | Talk by Nicholas Felton: PhotoViz – ‘At the intersection of photography and data visualization is a place where optical techniques reveal complex phenomena and data viz starts to resemble a photographic process.’

Juice Analytics | ‘A Guide to Creating Dashboards People Love to Use’

Subject News

Includes announcements within the field, brand new sites, new (to me) sites, new books and generally interesting developments.

Tate | The Tate gallery has released a dataset that contains the ‘Concise catalogue entries’ for all wholly owned artworks in the Tate collection’

University of Chicago Press | pdf release of first three volumes of the book: ‘The History of Cartography’

Steve Haroz | New paper: ‘ISOTYPE Visualization: Working Memory, Performance, and Engagement’ by Steve Haroz, Robert Kosara and Steven Franconeri

Politico | ‘Nate Silver to Vox: Stop stealing our charts!’

PLOS | New Paper: ‘Beyond Bar and Line Graphs: Time for a New Data Presentation Paradigm’, by Tracey Weissgerber , Natasa Milic, Stacey Winham, and Vesna Garovic

Sundries

Any other items that may or may not be directly linked to data visualisation but might have a data/technology focus or just seem worthy of sharing

Washington Post | Artisan Politics – ‘We asked four cartoonists to critique some presidential doodles’

Boing Boing | ‘Christopher Nolan’s hand-drawn Inception timeline’

New York Times | ‘How to Walk in New York’

Twitter | Another black and white printing fail…

Mirador | ‘Mirador is a configurable, extensible, and easy-to-integrate image viewer, which enables image annotation and comparison of images from repositories dispersed around the world’

Quantified Breakup | Discussing the digital consequence of a relationship breakup

BBC Technology | ‘Sat-navs and mobile apps threaten map-reading skills’

Guardian | ‘The best alternative election posters’

New York Times | The importance of editing: ‘The Man Who Makes the World’s Funniest People Even Funnier’

The User Is Drunk | ‘Your website should be so simple, a drunk person could use it. You can’t test that. I’ll do it for you.’ (for $500 per site)

Best of the visualisation web… March 2015

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. Here’s the latest collection from March 2015.

Visualisations/Infographics

Includes static and interactive visualisation examples, infographics and galleries/collections of relevant imagery.

FastCo Design | ‘This Eerie Virtual Flood Will Scare You Into Giving A Damn About Climate Change’

You Are Here | Estimating the ‘sum of the building-volume in the city of San Francisco stacked as floors’

BBC World Service | ‘A Visual Guide: Understanding Ebola’ video of Hans Rosling explaining how the disease started

The Creators Project | ‘Hear a Chaotic Orchestra Made from Brainwaves’

National Geographic | Beautiful animated work exploring the size, anatomy, behaviour and threats to the blue whale

Morphocode | A lovely collection of examples of everyone’s favourite, small multiples

Species in Pieces | ’30 Species. 30 Pieces. 1 fragmented survival. A CSS-based interactive exhibition celebrating evolutionary distinction.’

JMP Blog | Xan Gregg uses JMP to explore some alternative approaches to visualising the recent measles incidence heatmap from the WSJ

Washington Post | ‘Visualizing the 220,000 lives lost in Syria’

FiveThirtyEight | ‘Which Flight Will Get You There Fastest?’

Visual Cinnamon | ‘A Bubble chart about Food Poisoning’

Behance | A visualisation of global migration for Wired Italia

Stefanie Posavec | Stef’s collaboration with Miriam Quick ‘Air Transformed’ which asks ‘What if we could really see and feel the burden that air pollution places on our bodies?’

Bloomberg | Pizza charts. Says it all.

Beautiful Maps | A collection of beautiful cartogrpahy curated by Dennys Hess

Ri.id | ‘Close the Gap’ – a bonanza of small multiple goodness from Ri Liu looking at the gaps between women and men in Labour force participation around the world

The Economist | Interesting stacked bar/connected timeline technique showing the ‘the evolution of Israeli politics’

New York Times | Detailed visual profile of ‘Syria After Four Years of Mayhem’

Animated Data | Really smart (updated) interactive formula 1 Timeline from Peter Cook

Washington Post | ‘Charted: The life and death of every major Walking Dead character’

Rainscapes | Beautiful animated work looking at rainfall patterns across America’s west coast states

Washington Post | A superb reverse-scroll scaled journey up the summit of Mount Everest

Wall Street Journal | ‘The Ins and Outs of the Dow Jones Industrial Average’

FiveThirtyEight | UK election predictions are everywhere but, based on his track record, many will be particularly keen to see how this prediction from Nate Silver turns out

Tableau Public | A collection of very interesting and varied works submitted for the Tableau ‘Wiki Data Viz Contest’

i09 | ‘What Visualization Best Illustrated A Tricky Scientific Concept For You?’

Articles

The emphasis on these items is that they are less about visualisation images and are more article-focused, so includes discussion, discourse, interviews and videos

Source | ‘Connecting the dots: Jake Harris on data visualization, empathy, and representing people with dots’

EagerEyes | Nice piece from Robert proposing a discussion about the concept and role of ‘complications’ in data vis

Cartonerd | Deep piece from Kenneth Field about the status of mapping in response to an earlier article ‘In defense of burger cartography’

New York Times | ‘In the Age of Information, Specializing to Survive’

New York Times | ‘Learning to See Data’

SPD | Nice interview with NYT’s Jennifer Daniel

Computing Now | ‘Snapshot of Current Trends in Visualization’

Maarten Lambrechts | Excellent piece from Martin as he considers the ‘The rise of explorable explanations’

City Lab | ‘Why Most Twitter Maps Can’t Be Trusted’

Medium | ‘3 Ways Designers Screw Up Client Presentations’

Ann K Emery | Ann presents ‘six alternatives to the clustered bar chart’

Dominikus | ‘Big Data and the end of everyday cheating’

Medium | Superb piece by Fernanda Viégas and Martin Wattenberg ‘Design and Redesign in Data Visualization’

IEEE Computer Graphics | ‘Tapestry: A different kind of conference on storytelling with data’ by Robert Kosara

The Nib | Wonderfully illustrated article discussing the issues of skin colouring in art and design

Climate Lab Book | ‘The End of the Rainbow: An open letter to the climate science community’ {the visualisation room stands to applaud}

Medium | ‘The Joyless World of Data-Driven Startups’

FastCo Design | ‘UI, UX: Who Does What? A Designer’s Guide To The Tech Industry’

5W Blog | ‘The failing promise of GIS mapping in news (and some free maps)’

Learning & Development

These links cover presentations, tutorials, learning opportunities, case-studies, how-tos etc.

Vimeo | All the videos of the talks at FutureEverything 2015

YouTube | All the videos of the talks at Tapestry 2015

Vimeo | All the videos of the talks at FutureEverything 2015

Lena Groeger | I love this annotated slide deck/article from Lena NICAR 2015 talk about ‘drawing time’

Vis4 | Also from NICAR, Gregor wow’s the field with details of his Mr Chartmaker tool created for assisting with charting tasks at The Upshot

Google Docs | …and here’s Darla Cameron’s lightning talk ‘The end of maps, in seven charts’

Chrys Wu | Whilst we’re on the subject of NICAR, here’s Chrys’s collection of slides, links and tutorials

Adventures in Viz | Rob Radburn’s Tableau ‘Iron Viz’ entry explores whether it is ‘Better to be a Drogba than an Owen?’, here’s the design thinking

Axis Maps | A month full of good talks, here’s another interesting deck from Andy Woodruff titled ‘Blindfolded Cartography’

Rstudio | ‘Data Visualization cheatsheet, plus Spanish translations’

EECS Tufts | New paper: ‘Ranking Visualizations of Correlation Using Weber’s Law’ by Lane Harrison, Fumeng Yang, Steven Franconeri, and Remco Chang

Visual Loop | Typically wonderful collection of content and coverage from Malofiej 23

Subject News

Includes announcements within the field, brand new sites, new (to me) sites, new books and generally interesting developments.

No Starch Press | New book: ‘Statistics Done Wrong’, by Alex Reinhart

ai2html | New resource: ‘Ai2html is an open-source script for Adobe Illustrator that converts your Illustrator documents into html and css.’

ArchieML | New resource: ‘ArchieML (or “AML”) was created at The New York Times to make it easier to write and edit structured text on deadline that could be rendered in web pages, or more specifically, rendered in interactive graphics.’

PatricioGonzalezVivo | New (digital) book: ‘The Book of Shaders’ by Patricio Gonzalez Vivo

The Imaginary Institute | New course: ‘2D Interaction and Animation is an 8-week online video class that will teach you to create powerful, expressive, and interactive computer graphics’

Sundries

Any other items that may or may not be directly linked to data visualisation but might have a data/technology focus or just seem worthy of sharing

Design Boom | Photographers ‘cortis & sonderegger’ recreate history’s most memorable moments in miniature

Wired | ‘Brilliant car UIs from Monument Valley;s design geniuses’

its nice that | The Grand Budapest Hotel graphic designer on designing for Wes Anderson, “Everything in the film is there for a reason”.

Helftone | ‘Monodraw: Birth of an App Icon’

Shopikon | ‘The London globemaker who puts the world together’

FastCo Design | ‘Think You Could Draw The Apple Logo From Memory? Think Again.’

Vaguely Rude Places | An exploratory map highlighting some of the world’s more peculiar place names…

Best of the visualisation web… February 2015

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. Here’s the latest collection from February 2015.

Visualisations/Infographics

Includes static and interactive visualisation examples, infographics and galleries/collections of relevant imagery.

Washington Post | Nice overlayed mapping showing ‘Damaging Quakes in Oklahoma’

RocketNews24 | ‘Tokyo’s labrynthine subway map in 3-D form!’

Info We Trust | ‘Creative routines’ – daily rituals of the good and the great

Data Driven DJ | ‘Two Trains: Sonification of Income Inequality on the NYC Subway’

Guardian | ‘Election 2015: The Guardian poll projection’

Health Intelligence | ‘Equiplot: A Chart to Display Equity Data’

FiveThirtyEight | ‘The Walk On: How Madden helped a schlub like me make it into NFL’

YouTube | ‘Visualizing Time by Icastic’

Inside Airbnb | ‘Airbnb affects the city’s housing supply and affordability. Explore the key variables of Airbnb use and how it impacts your neighborhood.’

Flowing Data | ‘Interactive: When Do Americans Leave For Work?’

On Broadway | ‘The interactive installation ON BROADWAY represents life in the 21st century city through a compilation of images and data collected along the 13 miles of Broadway that span Manhattan.’

ProPublica | ‘Over 1,100 Health Data Breaches, but Few Fines’

Ples Moz Ganov | I’m not entirely sure what this is, as it is in Slovenian, but it looks like an interesting data art project to map the physical movement involved in Dance. I think?

Washington Post | ‘What you need to know about the measles outbreak’

Ben Schmidt | ‘Gendered Language in Teacher Reviews’

Skunk Bear | ‘A predictive sound map of the US’

New York Times | ‘The sounds of the downhill’

WSJ | ‘Track National Unemployment, Job Gains and Job Losses’

Guardian | ‘Watch how the measles outbreak spreads when kids get vaccinated – and when they don’t’

Washington Post | ‘One way to Mars’

Articles

The emphasis on these items is that they are less about visualisation images and are more article-focused, so includes discussion, discourse, interviews and videos

National Geographic | ‘100 Years of National Geographic Maps: The Art and Science of Where’

Cartonerd | ‘When is a heat map not a heat map’

Jerome Cukier | First of an excellent 5-part series of posts discussing dashboards and advice for best practice (

GameAnalytics | ‘Data Visualization in Games’

Sheila Pontis | ‘Defining Information Design’

ProPublica | From 2013 ‘Design Principles for News Apps & Graphics’

Recode | ’10 years of Google Maps’

BBC | ‘Google’s Vint Cerf warns of digital Dark Age’

Haunted Machines | ‘A microconference at @FuturEverything 2015 about stories of ghosts and magic in technology’

Scientific American | ‘How to Choose the Form of an Infographic: It’s All about Context’

Demos | ‘Keeping an eye on the dashboard’

FiLWD | ‘Paper: How Deceptive Are Deceptive Visualizations?’ by Enrico Bertini

Eager Eyes | ‘Spelling Things Out’ discussing redundancy to make a point

Medium | ‘The Architecture of a Data Visualization: Multilayered Storytelling through “Info-spatial” Compositions’

Maney Online | ‘Value-by-alpha Maps: An Alternative Technique to the Cartogram’

New Scientist | ‘What colour is the dress? Here’s why we disagree’ (Forgive me, but the visual perception discussion is valuable)

FILWD | ‘What do we do this VIS thing for? Towards a data visualization ethos.’

Vox | ‘What is data journalism?

Bloomberg | ‘Why Measles May Just Be Getting Started’

Ri Liu | ‘The Network Effects of Following Fewer Women’

xkcd | ‘Stories of the Past and Future’

Learning & Development

These links cover presentations, tutorials, learning opportunities, case-studies, how-tos etc.

Visual Loop | A process design post by Giovanni Magni about his visualisation project “2080 weeks of weather in Milan”

After the Flood | ‘London Squared Map: Making the city easier to read’

Post Graphics | ‘Behind the scenes: An illustrated history of the Super Bowl halftime show’

For Journalism | ‘For Journalism is an effort to equip every student, mid-career journalist, professor, graduate student with the knowledge they need to learn technical skills for doing journalism.’

ImportIO | ‘A data analysis of music samples’ process post by Emanuele Conti

YouTube | ‘Thought Leaders on Interactivity’

Josh Stevens | Excellent recently-discoverd blog, here’s a good example of Josh’s content: ‘Bivariate Choropleth Maps: A How-to Guide’

Visual Loop | A process design post by Alberto Lucas López about the infographic “The Height of Social Values”

USGS | ‘Map Projections – A Working Manual’

The Functional Art | ‘Redesigning a circular timeline’ – the redesign that kicked off a sea of responses, discussions and articles

FastCo Design | ‘What’s The Difference Between A Font And A Typeface?’

Subject News

Includes announcements within the field, brand new sites, new (to me) sites, new books and generally interesting developments.

JSDataVis | New book: ‘Data Visualization with JavaScript’ by Stephen A Thomas

Reddit | A sub-community on Reddit offering ‘A place for visual representations of data: Graphs, charts, maps, etc. DataIsBeautiful is for visualizations that effectively convey information’

Brookings | New book: ‘Diversity Explosion’, by Bill Frey

Simon Rogers | New book: ‘Space’ an infographics book for kids by Simon Rogers, designed by Jennifer Daniel

Sundries

Any other items that may or may not be directly linked to data visualisation but might have a data/technology focus or just seem worthy of sharing

ISO 500px | ‘Lisa Bettany, John Wilhelm, and Rolland András Flinta On What Makes a Photograph Great’

BBC | ‘How long would it take you to earn a top footballer’s salary?’

Chrome Experiments | A collection of different technology experiments for the browser

Earth Primer | Discover how Earth works with this App: ‘A science book that is alive’

Twitter | ‘They have some serious visual math tools in my kids’ school. Love it.’

I am the fold | ‘An experiment to show how designing for The Fold can be treacherous’

Leeds Art Crawl | ‘Spotted some public art that made your day?’

FastCo Design | ‘Lost At The Museum? This Ingenious 3-D Map Makes Navigation A Cinch’

Maker Stories | ‘The Making of Monument Valley’

SMBC | ‘The top 6 reasons this infographic is just wrong enough to sound convincing’

New York Times | ‘The Death and Life of Great American GeoCities’

BuzzFeed | ‘This Is What Political Party Websites Looked Like In 1996’

Best of the visualisation web… January 2015

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. Here’s the latest collection from January 2015.

Visualisations/Infographics

Includes static and interactive visualisation examples, infographics and galleries/collections of relevant imagery.

Washington Post | ‘Barack Obama’s presidency has been remarkably steady — at least in his approval rating’

Postscapes | ‘Networked Art: 10 projects using real time data’

Visual Loop | Profile of the sensational portfolio of Jaime Serra

Jaime Serra | …and here’s one recent example. A visual diary of a year of coffee drinking using cup stains to quantify and cup shape to categorise

LSE Cities | ‘Urban Age Cities Compared: Where People Live’

Visual Loop | ‘100 print infographics of 2014 – pt I’

Gavi | Created by Jan Willem Tulp, ‘Every vaccine counts’

Quartz | ‘A story of drinkers, genocide and unborn girls’

WSJ | ‘The Data Mining of Emotions’

New York Times | ‘The Dawn Wall: El Capitan’s Most Unwelcoming Route’

FastCo Exist | ‘These Beautiful Maps Show How Much Of The U.S. Is Paved Over’

Airbnb | Terrific live map of airbnb check-ins and guests

Morgenpost | A journey down the M29 bus line through various social statistics

WSJ | More data investigation than visualisation but a really interesting look at the ‘coulda been contenders’ – films that should have been invited to the Oscars party.

WE Forum | ‘The Global Risks 2015 Interconnections Map: How are global risks interconnected?’

Bloomberg | ‘Scientific Proof that Americans are Completely Addicted to Trucks’

Onformative | Presenting the ‘Klarna Data Wall’

Spotify | “Every second a few people hit ‘play’ on the same spotify track” this animated map shows some selected moments of serendipity over a one hour period

CNN Money | Interactive chart showing how the ‘Millennial generation is bigger, more diverse than boomers’

Ars Technica | Interesting demonstration of small multiple word clouds. Believe me.

Bloomberg | ‘2014 Was the Hottest Year on Record’

BBC | ‘US blizzard: Charting the snow depth – using six dogs’

New York Times | ‘Can This Treatment Help Me? There’s a Statistic for That’

Articles

The emphasis on these items is that they are less about visualisation images and are more article-focused, so includes discussion, discourse, interviews and videos

PBS | ‘My Crazy Wonderful Experimental Journalism Class’

Evergreen Data | ‘Numbers, Guts, & Culture: How Data Visualization Changes the Conversation’

DataRemixed | ‘Avoiding Data Pitfalls, Part 1: Gaps Between Data and Reality’…and

DataRemixed | ‘Avoiding Data Pitfalls, Part 2: Fooled by Small Samples’

Wired | ‘The rapidly disappearing business of design’

Analytics Magazine | Featuring a special on data visualization

Vis4 | ‘Look, Ma, No More Mercator Tiles’

Eager Eyes | ‘The State of Information Visualization, 2015’

Guardian | ‘Today’s key fact: you are probably wrong about almost everything’

PolicyViz | Jon shares an audio chat with Cole Nussbaumer where they discuss, amongst other things, zero baselines

Source | ‘What if the data visualization is actually people?’ by Sarah Slobin

5W Blog | ‘Working with ProPublica’

Washington Post | ‘Humpback whales have communities, culture, and now, sheet music’

After The Flood | ‘London Squared Map: Making the city easier to read’

FastCo Design | ‘Infographic: Who Murdered Whom In “Sons Of Anarchy”‘

National Geographic | ‘100 Years of National Geographic Maps: The Art and Science of Where’

Source | ‘Connecting with the dots: Jake Harris on data visualization, empathy, and representing people with dots’

YouTube | ‘Hans Rosling on global income disparity (and snowballs) – Newsnight’

Eager Eyes | Robert has started a series of posts that present seminal visualisation papers

FastCo Design | Article profiling The Upshot ‘Where The New York Times Is Redesigning News’

Vis4 | ‘When It’s Ok to Use Word Clouds’

Learning & Development

These links cover presentations, tutorials, learning opportunities, case-studies, how-tos etc.

Online Journalism Blog | ‘FAQ: Teaching data journalism’

Harvard | Paper: ‘Perception, Cognition, and Effectiveness of Visualizations with Applications in Science and Engineering’, by Michelle Borkin

Ordnance Survey | A really useful summary of ‘Cartographic Design Principles’

Story Bench | ‘Under the hood: Ebola coverage at the New York Times Graphics Department’

O’Reilly | Video: ‘Effective Data Visualization: From Design Fundamentals to Big Data Techniques’ by Jeff Heer (some bits free, others cost)

O’Reilly | ‘Lessons from next-generation data wrangling tools’

New York Times | Behind the scenes description of the work that went into the NYT’s ‘The Dawn Wall: El Capitan’s Most Unwelcoming Route’ project

Tableau | ‘Decision trees, flow diagrams, sankeys in Tableau… here is a solution’

MBTAViz | Video of ‘How we built MBTAViz’

PJIM | Volume VII, Issue 1 of the Parsons Journal for Information Mapping

Subject News

Includes announcements within the field, brand new sites, new (to me) sites, new books and generally interesting developments.

O’Reilly | New book: ‘Data Driven: Creating a Data Culture’ by DJ Patil and Hilary Mason

Truth & Beauty | New book: ‘New challenges for Data Design’, edited by David Bihanic

Atlas of Design | New book: the 2014 Edition of ‘the Atlas of Design’

Visual.ONS | New site: A nice, newly decorated home for the collection of visualisation output from the Office for National Statistics

Open Culture | ‘The Public Domain Project Makes 10,000 Film Clips, 64,000 Images & 100s of Audio Files Free to Use’

Sundries

Any other items that may or may not be directly linked to data visualisation but might have a data/technology focus or just seem worthy of sharing

FastCo Design | ‘What If Nike Sold Oranges And Apple Sold iMilk?’

Abbreviated Y Axis | Jessica Schillinger set up a tumblr to curate “without comment (mostly), graphs and charts with truncated Y-axes, good or bad. Just seemed like something that had to be done.”

ThingLink | Possibly useful tool, “With ThingLink you can easily annotate image and video content with notes and rich media links.”

WSJ | ‘Charlie Hebdo Attack: Cartoonists Respond’

Washington Post | ‘How to win Wheel of Fortune’

Guardian | ‘Second comings: the artists who found success the long way round’

Studio 360 | ‘Existential progress bars’

Guardian | ‘Winter suns, anyone? Nasa produces vintage travel posters for newly discovered planets’

Washington Post | ‘Quiz: Can you name a city just by looking at its streets?’

Medium | Jer Thorp’s appeal for ‘An Artist in Every Library’

Brand New | Interesting article about the much talked about Sonos logo

FastCo Design | ‘All 236 “Friends” Episodes In One Poster’

Best of the visualisation web… December 2014

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. Here’s the latest collection from December 2014.

Visualisations/Infographics

Includes static and interactive visualisation examples, infographics and galleries/collections of relevant imagery.

Popular Science | ’15 charts, graphs and maps that will shape the future of information.’

Bloomberg | ‘2014 Is Likely to Be the Earth’s Hottest Year Ever. Why It Doesn’t Matter’ – love the plot half way down

Washington Post | Inevitably, being December, there were several ‘Year in graphics’ collections. Here’s one from the Washington Post…

New York Times | …here’s the New York Times’

Quartz | … and from Quartz

Zeit Online | … this one from Zeit Online

Reuters | …next up is the Reuters graphics collection

WSJ | …The WSJ’s year of interactive graphics

CartoDB | Rivers in the US coloured by the direction in which they flow

NZZ | In contrast to the previous links, this is an interactive visualisation chronicling and analysing a year of published content

Senseable | ‘Art Traffic at the Louvre: A study of visitors’ behaviour using Bluetooth data’

Marion-Luttenberger | Interesting portfolio of creative, physical/ambient infographic work

Washington Pomarst | ‘Most Americans’ best days are behind them’

The Bump | Nice way to show the relative size of a baby week-by-week

Wired | ‘A Web App That Visualizes Wikipedia as a Starry Galaxy of Articles’

BBC | ‘Jihadism: Tracking a month of deadly attacks’

Bloomberg | ‘Pain at the Pump: Gasoline Prices by Country

Buckets | Terrific interactive NBA player dashboards

New York Times | ‘A Record Year for Auto Recalls’

Creative Review | ‘The soundscape of New York’ – physical visualisations

Eye See Data | A really terrific detailed bump chart showing the history of Fifa World Rankings

Bloomberg | More interactive storytelling excellence from the Bloomberg Visual team, this one profiling ‘Climate Change in Perspective’

Muyueh | A deep exploration into how ‘Different languages have different ways to describe color’

Boston Globe | ‘This is how Congress connects on Twitter’

Tabletop Whale | Animated infographic showing ‘How to build a human’

ProPublica | ‘Inside the Firewall: Tracking the News That China Blocks’

On Broadway | ‘The interactive installation ON BROADWAY represents life in the 21st-century city through a compilation of images and data collected along the 13 miles of Broadway that span Manhattan.’

Washington Post | ‘The brutal methods outlined in the Senate report’

ncase | Enjoyable ‘segregation simulator’ – “This is a story of how harmless choices can make a harmful world”.

Wired | From MapLabs: ‘Our Favorite Maps of the Year Cover Everything From Bayous to Bullet Trains’

The Acme Catalog | ‘BIG BATS is a search through historical data (1903-2013) for performances by players who seemed like they were literally playing with a larger bat than everyone else.’

FiveThirtyEight | Love this analytical enquiry: ‘The Final ‘Hobbit’ Film Is An Unprecedentedly Gratuitous Stretch Of Source Material’

TheUpshot | ‘The Vanishing Male Worker: How America Fell Behind’

Truth and Beauty | Love these remixes of Hans Rosling’s famous graphics, redesigned for print

City Geographies | ‘Understanding Household Energy Use in England & Wales’

What Color Is It? | 6 digit time converted in to a hex coloured background that constantly changes as time does. Dead simple. Dead good.

New York Times | ‘What We’re Searching For’

WSJ | ‘Who’s News: Rank business leaders on the Journal’s influence grid.’

Tableau Public | The remixer becomes the remixed… A stunning reworking of Moritz Stefaner’s ‘Notabilia’ by Mark Jackson

NZ Herald | ‘Visualising 268,000 tonnes of floating plastic in the world’s ocean’

Articles

The emphasis on these items is that they are less about visualisation images and are more article-focused, so includes discussion, discourse, interviews and videos

Visual Loop | Nice round up of ’40 must-watch keynotes of 2014:
presentations held at the top data vis events and at local meetups’

Ann K Emery | Nice piece by Ann that explains how the brain is the best visualisation tool of all time

Sandra Rendgen | ‘A window into a concept: Interview with Bryan Christie’

Typeset in the Future | Discussing typography in sci-fi (part 3)

Floating Sheep | ‘Deconstructing the (most detailed tweet) map (ever)

Cartonerd | Kenneth Field offers up his ‘Favourite maps from 2014’

If We Assume | ‘What I have to say may shock some of you: the rainbow color map isn’t dead, and it shouldn’t be’. Boom indeed!

Lulu Pinney | Nice end of year video summary of Lulu’s work during 2014

ProPublica | ‘Introducing Landline and Stateline: Two Tools For Quick Vector Maps in your Browser’

Journalism | ‘Ophan: Key metrics informing editorial at the Guardian’

Huffington Post | ‘What Links Magic and Data Visualization?’

Guardian | ‘When data gets creepy: the secrets we don’t realise we’re giving away’

Washington Post | ‘Why we draw’ by Richard Johnson

Learning & Development

These links cover presentations, tutorials, learning opportunities, case-studies, how-tos etc.

Zapier | Some useful suggestions in this: ’20 New Productivity Apps from 2014 that You Need to Try’

Animated Data | ’10 D3.js Must Knows’

Government Statistical Service | ‘Effective graphs and tables in official statistics’ – interesting to see this guidance which is for producers of official statistics “who need to design graphs and tables that are clear, consistent, informative and easy to use”

Juretriglav | …Same but different (huh?) kind of reference, this one being about the ‘Standards for Scientific Graphic Presentation’ for the NYCTA

Nature Graphics | More design narrative goodness from Nature, this one looking at ‘Life on the Brink: Visualising Extinction’

Marcin Ignac | Transcribed slides (à la Jonathan Corum) from Marcin’s talk at Visualized.io in London, November 2014. I missed the talk but heard great things about it.

Urban Institute | ‘Raising the standards of data journalism’

Subject News

Includes announcements within the field, brand new sites, new (to me) sites, new books and generally interesting developments.

D3 Deconstructor | ‘The D3 Deconstructor is a Google Chrome extension for extracting data from D3.js visualizations’

Amazon | New book: ‘Data Scientists at Work’, by Sebastian Gutierrez

Data Viz Done Right | Nice new site launched by Andy Kriebel ‘Highlighting data viz best practices around the web’

Glitchart | New tumblr site tracking glitchy visualisation mistakes that in themselves are fascinating displays

BMJ | Not a new site but new to me, the collection of infographics work for the British Medical Journal

YouTube | New book: ‘Instant Expert’, by Nigel Holmes. This is a video of Nigel introducing the book with a link to the amazon page contained.

CartoDB | ”Odyssey.js: New open source tool to weave interactive stories by CartoDB

Sundries

Any other items that may or may not be directly linked to data visualisation but might have a data/technology focus or just seem worthy of sharing

Analytics FC | ‘500 words on….what is Football Analytics and how can I get involved?’

All the Minutes | Shows random selected tweets that mention the time you are at right there and then

BBC | ‘Marriage proposal mapped out by Portsmouth jogger’s app’

EarthSky | Showing some incredible ultra-long exposure photos of the sky between the June and December solstice.

Core77 | ‘How retailers get order from chaos: Plan-o-grams’

Gizmodo | ‘Microsoft Is Killing Clip Art Because Nobody Uses It Anymore’

Quipsologies | ‘This placemat looks as if the tableware warped it’

Core77 | ‘Should the Royal Mail be jumping on the 3D printing bandwagon?’

Channel 101 | Dan Harmon’s multi-part series about Story Structure

10 significant visualisation developments: July to December 2014

To mark the milestone of each mid-year and end-of-year I take a reflective glance over the previous 6 month period in the data visualisation field and compile a collection of some of the most significant developments. These are the main projects, celebrated events, new sites, emerging trends, key personalities and general observations that have struck me as being important to help further the development of this field.

Earlier in the year I published a collection for the first 6 months of 2014 and now I’d like to reflect on the second half of 2014. I look forward to hearing your suggestions for the developments you believe have been most significant.

And so, as ever, in no particular order…

1. ProPublica’s ‘Losing Ground’

LosingGround

Developed in partnership between ProPublica and The Lens (as well as several other partners), Losing Ground is a simply immense project, one that integrates the best of visualisation, astute journalism, and stunning satellite and photo imagery to present the extreme state of coastal land being lost across the Southeastern region of Lousiana. The project offers big picture perspectives from as far away as 30,000ft right down to individual stories of locals affected by the issues. Here is a behind-the-scenes Q&A with Scott Klein, Assistant Managing Editor, and Al Shaw, News Application Developer – two of the protagoanists behind this exceptional work.

2. Junk Charts

JunkCharts

This is more a recognition of sustained high quality than anything that has necessarily significantly ‘changed’ during the past 6 months. The relentlessly valuable (and prolific) critical analysis and makeover work from Kaiser Fung on his Junk Charts site has to be applauded. His contribution to the field is significant, shining a light on the bad and the wrong, and offering a path to the good and the right.

3. NYT’s ‘The Most Detailed Maps You’ll See From the Midterm Elections’

NYTMaps

‘Wowsers’ would probably suffice as a summary, but let me offer a little extra. Published for the US midterm elections, this work offered a simply incredible collection of interactive, zoomable maps displaying the story behind some of the closest Senate races at uber-detailed precinct resolution (the smallest level of detail election result reporting). Sure, there will have been plenty of hard preparation work going on in the lead up to the election night but, still, to launch this quality of work, with such ambition in its form and in a real-time context, is mind-blowing.

4. Great designs utilising nothings, blanks, nulls and zeros

Nothings

As most readers will be aware, I’ve spent a not-insignificant amount of time this year talking about nothing: my intrigue into the possibilities and challenges of visualising the invisible. Well, the radar has continued blipping away and I’ve really been struck by three further projects in recent months. I therefore thought I’d lump them all into one single entry in this collection as they are all great in different ways. Firstly, technically from earlier in the year, I Remember is a project aiming to help fight Alzheimers disease. It literally lives off memories submitted through photographs and captions but if new memories are not submitted it starts to remove older ones. Secondly, the Hunger Report’s Missing Data uses gaps in photo imagery to represents the data gaps that exist across the developing crountries against the United Nations set of 52 indicators relating to women’s empowerment. Finally, the LA Times ‘Unclaimed Remains‘ campaign to try identify the names of the 1428 unclaimed remains at the L.A. County Cemetery ahead of a planned mass ceremony in early December. Jolly good stuff.

5. Zeit Online’s ‘A Nation Divided’

Zeit2

For any journalism organisation facing up to a major historical anniversary there are no doubt all sorts of pressures swirling around like ‘this needs to be the best’, ‘this needs to be different to what we’ve done before’, and, crucially, ‘this needs to be different to what others might do’. I’m sure these were factors faced by the graphics team at Zeit Online, the digital sister publication of “Germany’s most widely read weekly paper”, when the 25th anniversary of the German reunification arrived. Led by Sascha Venohr and Paul Blickle (to pick out just two names) the team responded with a wonderful pair of projects in the shape of ‘A Nation Divided‘ (original German version) and ‘Charting Germany‘, which formed part of the ‘paper’s anniversary coverage. A pair of innovative and informative visualisation works (the former providing inspiration for some of the graphics in this WaPo piece) that offer a perfect blend of exploratory and explanatory experiences. Here is a short video interview with Paul about their design process.

6. Eric Rodenbeck’s Eyeo talk

Eric

I came across this talk only a few weeks ago but Eric Rodenbeck’s “And Then There Were Twelve” Eyeo talk is a mixtape of compelling, refreshingly honest and sobering insights into his experiences at Stamen. ‘How to (keep) running a successful data visualization and design studio’ is the talk subtitle and in the course of 40 minutes or so we learn about a star agency having to grow and evolve against a context of the ebb and flow of personnel changes and a shifting marketplace around it.

7. Christopher Ingraham

Christopher

I name-checked Christopher in my previous 6-monthly roundup but I feel he needs to occupy a bullet-pointed place on this list all by himself, such has been the ongoing development of his brand of data journalism work these past few months. From the curioso to the quirky to the current, his wide-ranging and prolific output for the Washington Post emulates the energy and quality that typified the golden period of the Guardian data blog of about 3 years ago.

8. FT Data

FT

FT Data is a “collaborative effort from journalists across the Financial Times working in data journalism, statistics and data visualisation”. Essentially it is the place where the FT’s visualisation work lives and over the past year I’ve seen a growing range and quality of output with people like Martin Stabe and particularly John Burn-Murdoch responsible for some excellent interactive work and analysis. There has been some especially good work exploring sports-related topics through the ‘Baseline‘ series. Looking forward to seeing more great work during 2015.

9. New educational opportunities

Education

Two announcements over the past months should whet the appetite for folks looking at opportunities to study data visualisation and its sibling subject areas. Firstly, the Graduate Center at CUNY announced it had been awarded a multimillion-dollar grant to establish ‘The CUNY Center for Digital Scholarship and Data Visualization’. The Center will ‘train graduate students and employees from the public and private sectors in visualization techniques’. Secondly, an exciting new offering from the School of Communication at the University of Miami through its launch of a new Data Journalism and Visualization track within the MFA in Interactive Media beginning in the Fall (UK translation: Autumn) of 2015. Alberto Cairo (newly appointed ‘Knight Chair in Visual Journalism‘, congrats!) will be one of the lead Faculty members designing and delivering this new programme.

10. Ramon Martinez

Ramon

Its been a year full of dreadful news events and world affairs, with the ebola outbreak in Western Africa one of the enduring themes. There has been plenty of coverage across all news media outlets but nobody has done more to offer a rigorous and accessible analytical window into this issue than Ramon Martinez through his zen-mastery Tableau work published on his Health Intelligence blog. Ramon was the first person I saw publishing visualisations about this issue and he’s kept on top of it throughout the cycle of growth, fear, misinformation and then the inevitable post-hype decline in coverage. He’s also a smashing guy too.

Special mentions…

Here are the other highlights from the second half of 2014 that deserve a special mention:

World Chat Clock | A super elegant and (importantly) mega useful world clock device by Dark Horse Analytics that let’s you work out the optimum times for holding meetings across different world cities.

Norway’s new banknotes | A little bit of data visualisation design makes its way on to the beautiful new design for Norway’s banknotes created by Snøhetta.

Phillipp Adrian | On the 9th November 2012 at exactly 14:47:36, 5522 tweets were posted across the world. The #oneSecond project preserves the data of one moment on Twitter and presents it categorised, ordered and visualised across four books.

The Graphic Continuum | Jon Schwabish and Severino Ribecca’s excellent work to create a visual taxonomy of a range of common chart types, available as a convenient and attractive poster.

Poppy Field | Interactive version of Poppy Field by Valentina D’Efilippo and Nicolas Pigelet that achieved some great exposure during the recent milestone of the 100 year anniversary since the start of the first World War.

Pianogram | Such a brilliantly simple and simply brilliant concept. Use the apparatus of a piano and make bar charts out of the keys to reflect the frequency of notes used in a series of pieces of music.

Quartz | A really excellent project by David Yanofsky and Tim Fernholz to visualise ‘every active satellite orbiting Earth’

Data Viz Process | A valuable project by Scott Murray to research and distill the ‘Keys to a Successful Data Design Process’

Giorgia Lupi | Sneaking into the qualifying period by a single day, this is such a beautifully conceived and executed annotated slidedeck titled ‘The shapes of my thoughts’, exploring Giorgia’s passion for drawing and its influence on her data visualisation work.

Best of the visualisation web… November 2014

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. Here’s the latest collection from November 2014.

Visualisations/Infographics

Includes static and interactive visualisation examples, infographics and galleries/collections of relevant imagery.

Datalooksdope | On the premise that bigger words determines the perceived complexity of a piece of writing, this shows portrayals of different passages using bubbles instead of words (also tons of other interesting stuff)

Hunger Report | Impactive work that shows how much data is missing on different groups around the world

BBC Magazine | ’12 data maps that sum up London’

Tableau Public | Ben Jones offers an interactive Tableau map showing the ‘Railroads of the Contiguous United States’

Aviz | ‘Bertifier is a Web app for rapidly creating tabular visualizations from spreadsheets.’

Dataphys | A chronological ‘list of physical visualizations and related artifacts’

Bloomberg | Interesting dataset: ‘What companies are the market leaders within each industry?’

Charting the Beatles | ‘Song Structure: How did the form of Beatles songs evolve?’

Popular Science | ‘Cocktail calculus chart: The inner workings of recipes’

Data Pointed | ‘Crayon The Grids: Maps Of Street Layouts Colored By Orientation’

bsix12 | ‘East Meets West: An Infographic Portrait by Yang Liu’

The Guardian | All sorts of US mid-term election coverage goodness. Starting with the ‘Are you reflected in the new congress?’

New York Times | Something of a masterpiece. ‘The Most Detailed Maps You’ll See From the Midterm Elections’

WNYC | Super breakdown of the elections by WNYC, particularly with their comparisons for small differences in voting numbers for context

New York Times | ‘How Big Were Tuesday’s Republican Swings?’

Twitter Blog | ‘Interactive guide: the midterms’ web of influence on Twitter’

FastCo Design | Here’s a summary of ‘The Best Visualizations Of Yesterday’s Elections’

Washington Post | ‘Did Michael Brown charge? Eyewitnesses paint a muddled picture’

Friends in Space | Accurat’s project visualises the activity on ‘the first social network that extends beyond Earth’

BBC Science & Environment | ‘Rosetta mission: Can you land on a comet?’

New York Times | ‘Landing on a Comet, 317 Million Miles From Home’

Joey Cloud | The Pianogram: ‘how often each key gets pressed relative to the rest for a given piano piece. It is a piano-looking histogram!’

La Sombra Blogs | ‘Between two oceans’ – exploring the idea of uniting the Atlantic and Pacific oceans via Nicaragua

ABC | ‘Map: 2010 Victorian election results like you’ve never seen them’

NPR | ‘New Players In The NBA: Big Data, User-Controlled Jumbotrons’

Poppyfield | Interactive version of Poppy Field by Valentina D’Efilippo and Nicolas Pigelet

LA Times | Interesting scatter plot showing ‘S.F. crime rate jumps while L.A. sees drop’

Scrollytelling | Collection of visual projects that encapsulate the idea of ‘scrollytelling’

Pinterest | ‘FT Graphics and design: A showcase for the most interesting, quirky and informative graphics, illustrations and page designs from the Financial Times’

Github | and… a collection of John Burn-Murdoch’s interactive works for the FT

ProPublica | ‘The Millions New York Counties Coulda Got’

Alllesss | Elegant collection of data art generated by tracing mouse movements

Culturegraphy | Explore the connections and influences between movies

The Upshot | ‘Who Would Have Health Insurance if Medicaid Expansion Weren’t Optional’

Articles

The emphasis on these items is that they are less about visualisation images and are more article-focused, so includes discussion, discourse, interviews and videos

Junk Charts | Good profile of a brilliant front page NYT election chart

Wannabe Data Rockstar | ‘An inconvenient truth : Tableau is not a swiss army knife’

FastCo Design | ‘Ex-Googler On 4 Ways Designers Can Help The Working World Master Big Data’

Nautilus | ‘Five Ways to Lie with Charts’

Graphics Info | Nice summary by Simon looking back over his first year as Deputy Head of Graphics at ThomsonReuters

Policyviz | Jon discusses how ‘Sometimes a table is preferred to a graphic.’

Us Two | ‘The future of our past, or how to build a time machine’ (check out the xbox story)

Eager Eyes | ‘VIS 2014 Observations and Thoughts’

Learning & Development

These links cover presentations, tutorials, learning opportunities, case-studies, how-tos etc.

Gravy Anecdote | Terrific month-long 12-post series by Andy Cotgreave deconstructing the design choices for an internal Tableau contest

Junk Charts | Typically good analysis by Kaiser about the reorganisation required with an infographic

UW Graphics Group | Overview of the paper exploring alternate approaches to error bars

Dominikus | Slides and code from Dominikus’ and Moritz Stefaner’s tutorial at IEEE Vis 2014 ‘Everything except the chart’

Drawing with Numbers | ‘Getting Good at Tableau – the Screencast’

HCI Stanford | Paper: ‘The Value of Visualization’ by Jarke van Wijk

Bost.ocks | ‘How to Scroll: five rules for employing scrolling effectively’

National Geographic | ‘Goldilocks worlds: just right for life?’

Mapbox | ‘Making the most detailed tweet map ever’

Youtube | ‘The Art of Storyboarding with Ridley Scott’

Youtube | TEDTalk by Susan Etlinger: ‘What do we do with all this big data?’

University of Miami | ‘Nigel Holmes’ talk on humor and infographics’

Pinboard | Very useful collection of pinned articles, projects and other content saved over the years by Jane Pong

Sunlight Foundation | Collection of useful tools around information to do with political matters

Nature Graphics | One of several typically excellent design process posts from Nature, this one is about a Comet Landing graphic

Nature Graphics | …here’s another, this time about a graphic on The Great Depression

Medium | ‘The Great Wave off Kanagawa: A metaphor on the diversity of visualization’ by Manuel Lima

Vimeo | ‘Tutorial – Visualization Analysis and Design’ by Tamara Munzner for a IEEE Vis 2014 Tutorial’

Andy Woodruff | ‘Value-by-alpha Maps: An Alternative Technique to the Cartogram’

Subject News

Includes announcements within the field, brand new sites, new (to me) sites, new books and generally interesting developments.

Information is Beautiful Awards | As the title suggests, here are the 2014 winners and runners up in recent awards process

The Guardian | ‘Crazy paving: the twisted world of parquet deformations’

iVisDesigner | New Platform: ‘iVisDesigner stands for Information Visualization Designer, which is a platform in which users can interactively create customized information visualization designs for a wide range of data structure’

IBM | ManyEyes gets another little reboot…

The Marshall Project | New site: ‘The Marshall Project is a nonprofit, nonpartisan news organization covering America’s criminal justice system’

CartoDB | ‘Unlimited map views start today!’

Sundries

Any other items that may or may not be directly linked to data visualisation but might have a data/technology focus or just seem worthy of sharing

PSFK | ‘Japanese Cartographers Create Printable 3D Maps for the Blind’

Meshu | New range of data jewellery and other data driven sculptured products…

Monochrome | …And this also from Rachel Binx allows you to print a custom map on arrange of clothing items

The Poke | ‘Richard Scarry’s Busy Town Jobs For The 21st Century’

Type Genius | ‘Find the perfect font combo for your next project’

FastCo Design | ‘Where Do Designers Go To Work After College?

Earth Pics | ‘9 funny and vintage ads for modern technology’

nuSchool | ‘Your Free Design Work Will End Up In The Trash’

YouGov | A free app to showcase YouGov’s profiles, a segmentation and media planning tool