References

References

A Collection of Books About Data Visualisation

Here is a collection of books that have had most influence on my knowledge about data visualisation and other closely-related subject areas. The collection presented includes only the books I own or I have read from a library - I have decided to exclude any books I've not yet encountered, regardless of their potential merit for being included in a reading list like this. I will keep adding new titles to the collection as and when I come across them.

The headings used to organise and group the books is nothing more than an instinctive way of grouping the titles. I appreciate they could be/will be argued, debated and refined but it will never be perfect! The books in each section are typically sequenced alphabetically. Clicking on the book images will take you to the relevant Amazon.com page. Please note these are affiliate links, which means I earn a very small amount for any tracked purchase.

If some of the images fail to display (especially in Internet Explorer), click refresh.

Visualisation and Infographic Design

Beautiful Visualization: Looking at Data through the Eyes of Experts, by Julie Steele and Noah Iliinsky
Cause and Effect: Visualizing Sustainability, by R. Klanten
Creating More Effective Graphs, by Naomi B. Robbins
Data Visualizations: A Successful Design Process, by Andy Kirk
Designing Data Visualizations: Intentional Communication from Data to Display, by Julie Steele and Noah Iliinsky
Elements of Graph Design, by Stephen M. Kosslyn
Envisioning Information, by Edward R. Tufte
Excel 2007 Dashboards & Reports For Dummies, by Michael Alexander
Graph Design for the Eye and Mind, by Stephen M. Kosslyn
How Maps Work: Representation, Visualization, and Design, by Alan M. MacEachren
How to make an IMPACT, by Jon Moon
Information Dashboard Design: The Effective Visual Communication of Data, by Stephen Few
Information Graphics, by Taschen
Information is Beautiful, by David McCandless
Interactive Data Visualization for the Web, by Scott Murray
Now You See It: Simple Visualization Techniques for Quantitative Analysis, by Stephen Few
Readings in Information Visualization: Using Vision to Think, by Stuart K. Card, Jock Mackinlay and Ben Shneiderman
Semiology of Graphics: Diagrams, Networks, Maps, by Jacques Bertin
Show Me the Numbers: Designing Tables and Graphs to Enlighten, by Stephen Few
The Craft of Information Visualization: Readings and Reflections, by Ben Shneiderman
The Elements of Graphing Data, by William S. Cleveland
The Functional Art, by Alberto Cairo
The Grammar of Graphics, by Leland Wilkinson
The Information Design Handbook, by Jennifer Visocky O'Grady
The Visual Display of Quantitative Information, by Edward R. Tufte
The Visualisation of Spatial Social Structure, by Danny Dorling
The Wall Street Journal Guide to Information Graphics, by Dona M. Wong
Visual Complexity: Mapping Patterns of Information, by Manuel Lima
Visualize This: The FlowingData Guide to Design, Visualization, and Statistics, by Nathan Yau
Visualizing Data, by William S. Cleveland
Visualizing Data: Exploring and Explaining Data with the Processing Environment, by Ben Fry

Visual Perception and Visual Design

Designing Visual Interfaces: Communication Oriented Techniques, by Kevin Mullet
Don't Make Me Think: A Common Sense Approach to Web Usability, 2nd Edition, by Steve Krug
Emotional Design: Why We Love (or Hate) Everyday Things, by Donald A. Norman
Information Visualization: Perception for Design, by Colin Ware
Metaphors We Live by, by Georga Lakoff and Mark Johnson
Non-Designer's Design Book (3rd Edition), by Robin Williams
Now you see it, by Cathy N. Davidson
Sketching User Experiences: Getting the Design Right and the Right Design, by Bill Buxton
The Design of Everyday Things, by Donald A. Norman
The Laws of Simplicity (Simplicity: Design, Technology, Business, Life), by John Maeda
Thinking Fast and Slow, by Daniel Kahenman
Universal Principles of Design, Revised and Updated, by William Lidwell, Kritina Holden, Jill Butler
Visual Language for Designers: Principles for Creating Graphics that People Understand, by Connie Malamed
Visual Thinking: for Design, by Colin Ware
Ways of Seeing: Based on the BBC Television Series, by John S. Berger

Communication Design

Art of Plain Talk, by Rudolf Flesch
Building Stories, by Chris Ware
Made to Stick: Why Some Ideas Survive and Others Die, by Chip and Dan Heath
Presentation Zen Design: Simple Design Principles and Techniques to Enhance Your Presentations, by Garr Reynolds
Presentation Zen: Simple Ideas on Presentation Design and Delivery, by Garr Reynolds
slide:ology: The Art and Science of Creating Great Presentations, by Nancy Duarte
Switch: How to Change Things When Change Is Hard, by Chip and Dan Heath
The Chicago Guide to Writing about Numbers (Chicago Guides to Writing, Editing, and Publishing), by Jane E. Miller
The Elements of Style, by William Strunk and E B White
The Jelly Effect: How to Make Your Communication Stick, by Andy Bounds
Thinking With Type, by Ellen Lupton
Understanding Comics: The Invisible Art, by Scott Mccloud

Statistical Analysis and Problem Solving

Data Analysis with Open Source Tools, by Philipp K. Janert
How to Lie With Statistics, by Darrell Huff
R in a Nutshell: A Desktop Quick Reference, by Joseph Adler
Statistics in a Nutshell: A Desktop Quick Reference, by Sarah Boslaugh, Paul Andrew Watters
Gamestorming: A Playbook for Innovators, Rulebreakers, and Changemakers, by Sunni Brown
The Back of the Napkin (Expanded Edition): Solving Problems and Selling Ideas with Pictures, by Dan Roam
The Power of the 2 x 2 Matrix: Using 2 x 2 Thinking to Solve Business Problems and Make Better Decisions, by Alex Lowy
Turning Numbers into Knowledge: Mastering the Art of Problem Solving, by Jon Koomey
Unfolding the Napkin: The Hands-On Method for Solving Complex Problems with Simple Pictures, by Dan Roam

Historical, Business and Inspiration

Glut: Mastering Information Through the Ages, by Alex Wright
Graphic Discovery: A Trout in the Milk and Other Visual Adventures, by Howard Wainer
Playfair's Commercial and Political Atlas and Statistical Breviary, by William Playfair
Freelance Design in Practice, by Cathy Fishel
Graphic Artist's Guild Handbook of Pricing and Ethical Guidelines, by Graphic Artists Guild
The Designful Company: How to build a culture of nonstop innovation, by Marty Neumeier
Art: The Whole Story, by Stephen Farthing
The Art of Looking Sideways, by Alan Fletcher
We Feel Fine: An Almanac of Human Emotion, by Sep Kamvar

Sites and Services for Accessing Data

This post presents a collection of sites that provide data. They may be curated collections, data releases through Open Data movements or Software/Data-as-a-Service platforms.

Please note, I may not have personally used all the services, sites or tools presented but have seen sufficient evidence of their value from other sources. Also, to avoid re-inventing the wheel, descriptive text may have been reproduced from the native websites for many resources.

You will see there is a prominence for US and UK based sites and services. This is simply because they are the most visible, most talked about, most shared and/or useful resources on my personal radar. I will keep updating this page to include as many new finds and suggestions as possible, extending (ideally) around the world.

Government and NGOs

Data.gov: "As a priority Open Government Initiative for President Obama's administration, Data.gov increases the ability of the public to easily find, download, and use datasets that are generated and held by the US Federal Government."

Data.gov.uk: "The Government is releasing public data to help people understand how government works and how policies are made. Some of this data is already available, but data.gov.uk brings it together in one searchable website. Making this data easily available means it will be easier for people to make decisions and suggestions about government policies based on detailed information."

Data.gov.au: "Data.gov.au provides an easy way to find, access and reuse public datasets from the Australian Government. We encourage you to use government data to analyse, mashup and develop tools and applications which benefit all Australians."

US Census Bureau: "serves as the leading source of quality data about the United States' people and economy... providing the best mix of timeliness, relevancy, quality, and cost for the data we collect and services we provide."

UK Data Service: "We hold the UK's largest collection of digital social research data providing a unified point of access to data from ESDS, Census Programme, Secure Data Service and others."

Australian Bureau of Statistics: "The Australian Bureau of Statistics assists and encourages informed decision making, research and discussion within governments and the community, by leading a high quality, objective and responsive national statistical service."

UK Office for National Statistics: "'Trusted statistics – understanding the UK'. The ONS is the UK’s largest independent producer of official statistics and the recognised national statistical institute of the UK. Our people play a leading role in the development of national and international good practice in the production of official statistics."

The World Bank: "The World Bank provides free and open access to a comprehensive set of data about development in countries around the globe, together with other datasets cited in the data catalog. The Data Catalog provides download access to over 8,000 indicators from World Bank data sets."

Eurostat: "Eurostat's mission: to be the leading provider of high quality statistics on Europe. Eurostat is the statistical office of the European Union situated in Luxembourg. Its task is to provide the European Union with statistics at European level that enable comparisons between countries and regions."

UN: "A data access system to UN databases. The United Nations Statistics Division (UNSD) of the Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA) launched this new internet based data service for the global user community. It brings UN statistical databases within easy reach of users through a single entry point (http://data.un.org/). Users can now search and download a variety of statistical resources of the UN system."

UN Office on Drugs and Crime: "UNODC regularly provides global statistical series on crime, criminal justice, drug trafficking and prices, drug production, and drug use."

UNDP Human Development Reports: Provides a variety of portals and tools to explore and export 'human development data' utilized in the preparation of the Human Development Index (HDI)

UN Habitat: "This website provides UN-Habitat project information, statistical indicators from cities across the world and the Cities Prosperity Index as open data."

OECD Data Lab: The OECD’s laboratory for data visualisations and data downloads

WHO: "The GHO data repository provides access to over 50 datasets on priority health topics including mortality and burden of diseases, the Millennium Development Goals, non communicable diseases and risk factors, epidemic-prone diseases, health systems, environmental health, violence and injuries, equity among others."

UNICEF: Access to the latest statistics, data analysis and data dissemination about UNICEF's work

Italian Senate: "The point for direct access to the data of the Senate. Daily updates of information easily and freely be used (open data) that affect every aspect of policy and institutional framework: the case of bills with their process, electronic voting the Classroom, Commissions, parliamentary groups and many other information. An information base made available to citizens, researchers, journalists and developers to analyze and share the knowledge of what is being proposed, discussed and voted on by the people's representatives in the upper house of the Italian Parliament."

Italian Chamber of Deputies: "A platform for publishing and sharing of Linked Open Data on the business of the Chamber and the Chamber bodies, free to download or query."

National institute for statistics: "I.Stat is the warehouse of statistics produced by Istat, a complete and homogeneous wealth of information unique for the Italian official statistics."

Datos.gob.es: "Datos.gob.es is the Spanish national portal that organizes and manages the Catalog of Public Information Public Sector."

Census India: "The Indian Census is the most credible source of information on Demography (Population characteristics), Economic Activity, Literacy and Education, Housing & Household Amenities, Urbanisation, Fertility and Mortality."

'Local' Data

An ever-increasing number of cities, states and regions are opening up their local data around the world. This list will point to some of the most relevant and interesting (do inform me of additions): NYC Open Data

SF OpenData

London Datastore

Paris Data

Berlin Open Data

Dublinked

City of Chicago Data Portal

Data.seattle.gov

Services and Marketplaces

Timetric: "We deliver forward-looking economic and industry intelligence and data services based on high-quality data and expert analysis."

DataMarket: "Datamarket offers solutions to data publishing and other data-related issues and needs, also giving you access to a vast array of private and public data on, among many others, consumerism, finance and industry."

Airsage: "Airsage provides access to the most accurate, up-to-the minute population, location and movement patterns based on 15 billion mobile locations every day."

Infochimps: "We are a provider of data management and analysis solutions alongside access to a wealth of datasets including social media data, geographic data, various types of census and much, much more."

Factual: "Global Location Data - Tap into definitive data on 65 million places, updated and improved in real-time by Factual's data stack."

Windows Azure data marketplace: "One-Stop Shop for Premium Data and Applications: Hundreds of Apps, Thousands of Subscriptions, Trillions of Data Points"

AggData: "AggData has grown to be a business partner by developing and updating data for over 2,000 businesses and organizations. The AggData team prides itself on developing and delivering data-driven solutions that assist you in your critical tasks."

Import.io: "Extract data from a website and keep it live. Import.io allows you to identify data on a website and create a live connection to it."

DelRay: "DelRay takes any data source and makes it usable. Simplify your complex data integration projects: More Data. Less time. Better results."

Swirrl: "Swirrl is a small company based in Manchester and Stirling, creating beautiful and powerful data solutions for organisations who want to open up their data for both humans and machines."

Junar: "Junar provides a cloud-based platform for opening data to drive innovation, collaboration, and to meet legislative goals."

Social Data

Tweet Archivist: "Tweet Archivist Desktop is a Windows application that helps you archive tweets for later data-mining and analysis. Start a search with Tweet Archivist and it will get as many results as it can. Then, leave Tweet Archivist running and it will poll Twitter for that search as frequently as once every five minutes."

Datasift: "Grow your business with social data. DataSift is the most sophisticated data platform used to filter insights from the world's most popular social & news sources."

Gnip: "Gnip is the Largest Provider of Social Media Data to the Enterprise - Never Miss a Tweet, Post, Comment or Like"

Dataminr: "Dataminr identifies hotspots of activity across Twitter, distilling the sea of real-time information down to the signals that are early on the awareness curve and relevant to financial markets."

Twitter archive: Download your Twitter archive

Foursquare API: "The foursquare API gives you access to all of the data used by the foursquare mobile applications, and, in some cases, even more."

Instagram API: "The first version of the Instagram API is an exciting step forward towards making it easier for users to have open access to their data. We created it so that you can surface the amazing content Instagram users share every second, in fun and innovative ways."

Facebook API: "The Graph API is the primary way that data is retrieved or posted to Facebook."

Portals and Platforms

Knoema: "Knoema is a knowledge platform. The basic idea is to connect data with analytical and presentation tools. As a result, we end with one uniformed platform for users to access, present and share data-driven content. Within Knoema, we capture most aspects of a typical data use cycle: accessing data from multiple sources, bringing relevant indicators into a common space, visualizing figures, applying analytical functions, creating a set of dashboards, and presenting the outcome."

Freebase: "An open, Creative Commons licensed repository of structured data of almost 23 million entities. Explore a free, open knowledge graph of 39 million people, places, and things."

Socrata OpenData: "Socrata is a company that provides social data discovery services for opening government data, targeting non-technical Internet users who want to view and share government, healthcare, energy, education, or environment data."

CKAN: "CKAN is a powerful data management system that makes data accessible – by providing tools to streamline publishing, sharing, finding and using data. CKAN is aimed at data publishers (national and regional governments, companies and organizations) wanting to make their data open and available."

PublicData.eu: "PublicData.eu is a Pan European data portal, providing access to open, freely reusable datasets from local, regional and national public bodies across Europe."

Data Hub: “The free, powerful data management platform from the Open Knowledge Foundation. Search for data, and get updates from datasets and groups that you’re interested in. Publish or register datasets, create and manage groups and communities.”

Google’s PublicData: "The Google Public Data Explorer makes large, public-interest datasets easy to explore, visualize and communicate. As the charts and maps animate over time, the changes in the world become easier to understand. You don't have to be a data expert to navigate between different views, make your own comparisons, and share your findings."

Info-vis Wiki: A broad collection of data libraries and references

Visualizing.org Data Channels: "Data Channels are a one-stop shop for data and related resources from leading NGOs, government agencies, and companies around the world. Engage with the scientists behind the data, download and comment on new sets, and explore what other designers have created."

OpenCorporates API: "The Open Database Of The Corporate World: 50 million companies, 65 jurisdictions"

Open Data for Africa: "The African Development Bank Group (AfDB) is committed to supporting statistical development in Africa as a sound basis for designing and managing effective development policies for reducing poverty on the continent. Reliable and timely data is critical to setting goals and targets as well as evaluating project impact. Reliable data constitutes the single most convincing way of getting the people involved in what their leaders and institutions are doing."

OpenDataSoft: "OpenDataSoft is a turnkey platform over the cloud designed to make simple to re-use data through API & apps models. It reinvents data management for data-driven innovation & smart services time-to-market."

Newspapers and Media

Guardian Datastore: The Guardian datastore publish and share datasets, statistics and visualisations relating to the latest topical issues from the news agenda.

NYT APIs: The Times Developer Network is the "API clearinghouse and community" which provides access to a range of APIs to explore and access New York Times content going back to 1851.

Associated Press APIs: "AP Content API allows you to search and download AP Images content using your own editorial tools, without visiting the AP Images website. AP Metadata Services is a new automated service that applies rich semantic metadata to news content."

Thomson Reuters APIs: "Access the one stop shop for developers using Reuters Market Data System APIs. Support includes a comprehensive package of information, software (APIs) and global email- based support for members."

Culture and Heritage

Digital Public Library of America: "PublicData.eu is a Pan European data portal, providing access to open, freely reusable datasets from local, regional and national public bodies across Europe."

Europeana: "Explore millions of items from a range of Europe's leading galleries, libraries, archives and museums. Books and manuscripts, photos and paintings, television and film, sculpture and crafts, diaries and maps, sheet music and recordings, they’re all here. No need to travel the continent, either physically or virtually!"

Data-Related Movements

Open Data Institute: "The Open Data Institute is catalysing the evolution of open data culture to create economic, environmental, and social value. It helps unlock supply, generates demand, creates and disseminates knowledge to address local and global issues."

Open Knowledge Foundation: "Empowering through Open Knowledge - We are a global movement to open up knowledge around the world and see it used and useful."

Datakind: "Using data in the service of humanity."

Data Search Tools

WolframAplha: 'Computational knowledge engine' that let's you enter what you want to calculate or know about with details statistical and data results

Google Custom Search Engine: Example of Google CSE that "targets 800+ academic, government agency, non-profit, and other web sites that provide high quality, downloadable statistical information and data sets. Emphasis is on data pertaining to the social sciences, health, developing countries, energy, natural resources, and the environment."

Get the Data: Simply ask and answer data related questions (now only exists as an archive search)

Zanran: "Search the web for data and statistics. Zanran gets you more meaningful numerical results than any other search engine"

Quandl: "Quandl provides a database of millions of open and free global datasets from many international organisations, central banks, agencies and more."

Data engine: "A resource for finding and manipulating data from the web. Explore over 50 thousand data sets containing over 1 million time series."

US-Specific Collections of Data Sources

Databases of US-related statistical information, curated by UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism, providing a wealth of demographic and other data on a city, county, state and national level in the United States:

Census and demographics

Crime and criminal justice

Drugs

Economics and business

Education

Employment and labour

Environment

Food and agriculture

Fire

General

Government Spending

Health

Housing

Immigration

International

Politics and Elections

Religion

Transportation

Mapping

Blue Marble: "Free World map data for your applications! Download a free dataset that includes country, capital and population information in either Esri shapefile or MapInfo TAB format."

World maps: A collection of vector graphics (SVG) of blank maps from around the world.

Vector World Map: "Working towards a free, accurate world map, available in vector AI, EPS and CDR formats."

ISO 3166-1: "ISO 3166-1 is part of the ISO 3166 standard published by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO), and defines codes for the names of countries, dependent territories, and special areas of geographical interest."

ISO 3166-2: "ISO 3166-2 is part of the ISO 3166 standard published by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO), and defines codes for identifying the principal subdivisions (e.g., provinces or states) of all countries coded in ISO 3166-1."

Natural Earth: "Natural Earth is a public domain map dataset available at 1:10m, 1:50m, and 1:110 million scales. Featuring tightly integrated vector and raster data, with Natural Earth you can make a variety of visually pleasing, well-crafted maps with cartography or GIS software."

Ordnance Survey Open Data: "Mapping data and geographic information from Ordnance Survey."

OpenGeography: "The Open Geography Portal allows users to discover, view and download geographical reference data to support National Statistics."

U.S. Bureau of Reclamation: Data on US reservoir

The U.S. national map: "The National Map is a collaborative effort among the USGS and other Federal, State, and local partners to improve and deliver topographic information for the Nation. It has many uses ranging from recreation to scientific analysis to emergency response."

Protected Planet: "Discover and learn about the protected areas of our planet (national parks, etc.)"

OpenTopography: High-resolutuon topographic data from LIDAR

Transport and Travel

Open Flights: "OpenFlights is a tool that lets you map your flights around the world, search and filter them in all sorts of interesting ways, calculate statistics automatically, and share your flights and trips with friends and the entire world (if you wish). It's also the name of the open-source project to build the tool."

Transport for London: Collection of data feeds relating to London's transport infrastructure including live underground, roadside messages, cycle docking stations etc.

MTA: Collection of data feeds relating to New York City's transport infrastructure including live metro, bus, railroad and bridges/tunnel data.

Earth, Space and beyond...

EarthExplorer: "Primarily Landsat and USGS aerial photos, but also some other datasets (GeoTIFF)"

EOSDIS: NASA's Earth Observing System Data and Information System - the top-level for NASA's Earth science data

Earthnet: European Space Agency Earth science data

NASA Planetary Data System "The PDS archives and distributes scientific data from NASA planetary missions, astronomical observations, and laboratory measurements. The PDS is sponsored by NASA's Science Mission Directorate. Its purpose is to ensure the long-term usability of NASA data and to stimulate advanced research. Learn more about PDS."

Solar Dynamics Observatory: "The Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) is the first mission to be launched for NASA's Living With a Star (LWS) Program, a program designed to understand the causes of solar variability and its impacts on Earth. SDO is designed to help us understand the Sun's influence on Earth and Near-Earth space by studying the solar atmosphere on small scales of space and time and in many wavelengths simultaneously."

Astronaut Photography: The very cool NASA archive of astronaut photography.

Weather and Climate

National Climatic Data Center: "NCDC is the world’s largest provider of weather and climate data. Land-based, marine, model, radar, weather balloon, satellite, and paleoclimatic are just a few of the types of datasets available."

WeatherBase: "Find travel weather, climate averages, forecasts, current conditions and normals for 29,252 cities worldwide."

Met Office DataPoint: "DataPoint is a way of accessing freely available Met Office data feeds in a format that is suitable for application developers. It is aimed at professionals, the scientific community and student or amateur developers, in fact anyone looking to re-use Met Office data within their own innovative applications."

Met Office Hadley Centre: "Researchers at the Met Office Hadley Centre produce and maintain a range of gridded datasets of meteorological variables for use in climate monitoring and climate modelling. This site provides access to these datasets for bona fide scientific research and personal usage only."

Wunderground API: "a great source of free weather data, aggregating a multitude of independent weather stations all around the world. Reliable data, accurate forecast, & global coverage in 80 language."

EUMETSAT: "EUMETSAT is an intergovernmental organisation and was founded in 1986. Our purpose is to supply weather and climate-related satellite data, images and products – 24 hours a day, 365 days a year – to the National Meteorological Services of our Member and Cooperating States in Europe, and other users worldwide."

CLASS: "The Comprehensive Large Array-data Stewardship System (CLASS) is an electronic library of NOAA environmental data. This web site provides capabilities for finding and obtaining those data."

GOES Project Science: "U.S. Geostationary weather satellite images (easier to use, but more limited than the link above)"

GLIMS: "GLIMS (Global Land Ice Measurements from Space) is a project designed to monitor the world's glaciers primarily using data from optical satellite instruments, such as ASTER (Advanced Spaceborne Thermal Emission and reflection Radiometer)."

OneGeology: "OneGeology is an international initiative of the geological surveys of the world. This ground-breaking project was launched in 2007 and contributed to the 'International Year of Planet Earth', becoming one of their flagship projects."

Goddard Institute for Space Studies: "Collection of Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS) climate data"

USGS streamflow data: "USGS Current Water Data for the Nation"

Movies

IMDB: Options for accessing IMDb locally by holding copies of the data directly on your system under a non-commercial license.

IMP Awards:Gallery/database of Movie Posters.

Movie Scripts: Full scripts from thousands of movies!

Misc

Google Ngram Viewer: Search tool for exploring and comparing the use of specified phrases or language over time in books

Transfermarkt: A family of databases and portals for player transfers across all major football leagues going back through history.

Wikimedia Commons: "A database of 18,032,822 freely usable media files to which anyone can contribute"

Sean Revell: Sean Revell's very useful and detailed collection of data resources.

GeneratedData: Tool for generating customised but randomised test data.

NYC's Open Data: Fabulous visual interface by Chris Whong providing a single view of the more than 1,100 open datasets made available by New York City.

Peter Skomoroch Delicious: Peter Skomoroch's huge personal collection of bookmarked data markets, portals and services.

Data Remixed: Ben Jones' invaluable Tableau tool that helps users find Open Data sites around the world.

Data Visualisation Programmes and Qualifications

One of the frequent questions I get asked is "what programmes are available for me to study in order to gain a qualification in data visualisation?"

Whilst there are a number of short courses and training events available in the field, the pace of growth in popularity of this subject has not historically been matched by the availability of programmes and qualifications at Universities and Colleges.

This appears to be changing. Here is a list compiled from reader suggestions and some personal searching providing a list of the Undergraduate, Postgraduate programmes and one-off modules offered across the globe

This list will be kept as up to date and comprehensive as possible but if you identify any gaps please send an email with details/links to the programme in question.

Undergraduate Programmes

BA (Hons) Graphic Design | University of Lincoln | England

"Graphic Design is about communication. Our students work with design briefs to create stimulating, challenging, beautiful and effective design solutions – in response to wide ranging communication problems. We strive for our students to be creative, critical and autonomous in their approach to design work so that they are able to communicate with the ‘verve’ that we think makes Lincoln distinctive."

B.Sc in Communication Design | Augsburg University of Applied Sciences | Germany

Professor Michael Stoll is leading the studytrack informationdesign/infographics within the bachelor-programme in communication design: "Students who passed the first (and a half) year of basic courses in communication design may choose from a range of studytracks. one is calles informationdesign/infographics. Students normally take one semester at the university, then go abroad either to take courses at one of our partner universites or to have an internship at a major German newspaper, magazine or design agency with an infodesign/infographic department. After this students will return to the studeytrack for an other year (two semesters) and then will work on their final year project for an other semester. We are also planning to rework our master programme newsdesign, to include more infographics and data visualisation. you may expect it to be relaunch by summer 2014."

BA in Creative Technologies | University of Ulster (Derry) | Northern Ireland

"The BA in Creative Technologies combines industry-relevant digital content development with an inventive engagement in contemporary creative arts practice and creative industries policy. The scope of this course necessitates project-based work across traditional subject boundaries, leading students to develop adaptable creative and technical skills which will equip them for work in a rapidly evolving media landscape."

BA Information Design | Ohio University | USA

"The Informational Design sequence breaks down into two specializations, Print design and Interactive Design. Students studying Print Design will have a wide knowledge of Information Architecture, Print Design and Layout, Typography and Web/Mobile Design. Students focusing on Interactive Design will cover topics in Information Architecture, Web Design, Animation, Prototyping and Web/Mobile Development."

Bachelor Computer Science | University of Stuttgart | Germany

"After doing Human-Computer-Interaction in the 4th term, you will complete the modules Computer Graphics and Imaging Science in the 5th term. In the 6th term you select Picture Synthesis, Visualization or even both. In order to prepare the Bachelor Thesis, we recommend to select a seminar and a project from the Institute's offers."

Bachelor Interaction Design | Potsdam University of Applied Sciences | Germany

[Translated] "Interface Design at the Fachhochschule Potsdam offers the possibility of one's own creative unfolding against the backdrop of a demanding professional qualification. The program has a unique profile in the German higher education landscape. Our students learn computer-based products to the world of the human link: conceptual, practical, experimental, aesthetically and responsibly."
[Original] "Interfacedesign an der Fachhochschule Potsdam bietet die Möglichkeit der eigenen gestalterischen Entfaltung vor dem Hintergrund einer anspruchsvollen beruflichen Qualifikation. Der Studiengang hat ein einzigartiges Profil in der deutschen Hochschullandschaft. Unsere Studenten lernen computerbasierte Produkte mit der Lebenswelt des Menschen zu verknüpfen: konzeptionell, praxisnah, experimentell, ästhetisch und verantwortungsbewusst."

BA Digital Media | University of the Arts Bremen | Germany

"Our Digital Media study programmes feature a unique combination of design, theory, and technology. The programme offers aspiring designers a thorough grounding in the artistic and functional application of digital media. Combining experimental and artistic elements with applied studies, the programme encourages young designers to reflect on the wider social context and repercussions of new technologies, while equipping them with the know-how to express their artistic vision."

BA (Hons) Graphic and Media Design | University of the Arts London | England

"This course builds on the rich heritage of graphic design education at LCC while responding to the changing and dynamic nature of design. Learning is innovative and flexible and students can specialise in the areas of Typographic Media, Social Design, Information Graphics and Branding."

BA (Hons) Graphic Communication with Typography | Plymouth University | England

"Recognised globally, Graphic Communication with Typography focuses on thinking and skills in relation to contemporary understanding of communication and graphic design. The course has three award options in addition to the core award: (1) Identity and Branding, (2) Editorial and Publishing, (3) Information Design"

Undergraduate Modules

COMP3736 Information Visualization and COMP3811 Computer Graphics | University of Leeds | England

Dr Roy Ruddle runs the first of these modules: "For Undergraduates we run two final year options: The 'COMP3736 Information Visualization' is designed for our BSc Information Technology students, the 'COMP3811 Computer Graphics' has a lot of material that concerns scientific visualization and is an option on our MEng/BSc Computer Science and MEng/BSc Artificial Intelligence."

CS 7450 Information Visualization | Georgia Institute of Technology | USA

"Information visualization is a research area that focuses on the use of visualization techniques to help people understand and analyze data. While fields such as scientific visualization involve the presention of data that has some physical or geometric correspondence, information visualization focuses on abstract data without such correspondences such as symbolic, tabular, networked, hierarchical, or textual information sources."

CS448b Data Visualization | Stanford University | USA

"The world is awash with increasing amounts of data, and we must keep afloat with our relatively constant perceptual and cognitive abilities. Visualization provides one means of combating information overload, as a well-designed visual encoding can supplant cognitive calculations with simpler perceptual inferences and improve comprehension, memory, and decision making. Furthermore, visual representations may help engage more diverse audiences in the process of analytic thinking."

CS171 Visualization | Harvard University | USA

"The amount and complexity of information produced in science, engineering, business, and everyday human activity is increasing at staggering rates. The goal of this course is to expose you to visual representation methods and techniques that increase the understanding of complex data. Good visualizations not only present a visual interpretation of data, but do so by improving comprehension, communication, and decision making. In this course you will learn how the human visual system processes and perceives images, good design practices for visualization, tools for visualization of data from a variety of fields, collecting data from web sites with Python, and programming of interactive web-based visualizations using D3."

CS 5764 Information Visualization | Virginia Tech | USA

"This is a research-oriented course. Students survey the state-of-the-art in the field of Information Visualization by reading and discussing many research papers. Lectures involve student presentations, class discussion about assigned readings, and live demos of visualization systems. Class participation is important. Short homework assignments require critical thinking about current visualization tools, and creative design of new visualization ideas. Occasional in-class activities will reinforce readings and lecture materials. Large semester-long projects are the focus of the course. Students work in small groups on research projects that contribute to the state-of-the-art in the field. Students groups write a conference-quality paper and present their project results to the class. These projects provide an excellent opportunity for initiating or continuing thesis research, and can result in conference publication."

CS 6604 Visual Analytics | Virginia Tech | USA

"Graduate special topics course on Visual Analytics. This course takes a look at the practice of visual analytics, including the use of structured analytic techniques used by practitioners, as well as the research issues in analytical reasoning, visual representations and interaction, and data transformation."

stat645 | Rice University | USA

"This course will give you the tools to create and critically evaluate data visualisations. We will focus on statistical graphics, graphics that display “statistical” data (observations are in rows and variables in columns), with some forays into the field of information visualisation. What you will gain from this course: (1) an understanding of perceptual principles the underlie graphics; (2) the ability to use these principles to critique graphics and suggest improvements; (3) better skills in R to go from data and a question to a compelling visualisation"

CS294-10 Visualization | University of California, Berkeley | USA

"Visual media are increasingly generated, manipulated, and transmitted by computers. When well designed, such displays capitalize on human facilities for processing visual information and thereby improve comprehension, memory, inference, and decision making. Yet the digital tools for transforming data into visualizations still require low-level interaction by skilled human designers. As a result, producing effective visualizations can take hours or days and consume considerable human effort."

ITCS 4121/5121 Information Visualization | UNC Charlotte | USA

"Information visualization is the science that unveils the underlying structure of abstract data sets using visual representations that utilize the powerful processing capabilities of the human visual perceptual system. Topics of this course include a) popular multidimensional visualization, tree visualization, graph visualization, and time series data visualization techniques; b) visual perception, cognitive issues, evaluation, as well as other theory and design principles behind information visualization; c) basic interaction techniques such as selection and distortion; evaluation; and d) examples of information visualization applications and systems."

S637 Information Visualization | Indiana University | USA

"The visual representation of information requires a deep understanding of human perceptual and cognitive capabilities, computer graphics, interface and interaction design, as well as creativity. Information--such as log files reporting access of webpages or paper-citation network data--is typically non-spatial or abstract and needs to be mapped into a physical space that will represent relationships contained in the information faithfully and efficiently. If done successfully, visualizations can provide a very intuitive and efficient "interface between two powerful information processing systems - the human mind andthe modern computer" (Gershom et al., 1998). This course provides an overview about the state of the art in the field of information visualization. It will highlight the process of producing effective visualizations that take the needs of users into account and illustrate practical visualization procedures."

Information Visualization | Otto-von-Guericke-Universität Magdeburg | Germany

"Learning objectives and competencies: (1) Understanding and basic knowledge in the field of human perception and cognitive abilities, (2) Applicable knowledge of essential techniques in interactive information visualization, (3) Ability to select and develop suitable visualization and interaction techniques dependent on tasks and users, (4) Systematic analysis and evaluation of existing solutions for information visualization, (5) Genereal knowledge in the field of scientific working"

Visual Analytics for Business Intelligence | Singapore Management University | Singapore

"In this course, you will learn how to use visual analytic techniques and tools to interact with data of different formats from various sources, explore the expected relationships and discover unexpected correlations and patterns. You will also learn how to design cutting-edge visual analytics systems and conduct usability study on visual analytics systems (You can see recent group projects here)."

Postgraduate Programmes

MPS in Information Visualization | Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA) | USA

"MICA's MPS in Information Visualization prepares students from a variety of fields to translate their existing skills to the visualization industry and related areas. The first such MPS of its kind offered by an art college, the program was created specifically for artists and designers as well as professionals working in fields where the management of complex data through visualization is essential-including architecture, urban planning, homeland security, health, social networking, business, and more."

MA in Journalism | University of Miami | USA

"The Department of Journalism and Media Management offers a Master of Arts degree in Journalism. The program is an intensive combination of academic study and hands-on practice designed to develop competitive, high-level, cross-platform digital storytelling skills appropriate for today’s media landscape. Students take a common core of courses designed to provide a foundation in all aspects of contemporary journalism. Beyond that, students have the opportunity to focus their work in a particular area of study, including broadcast journalism, news and feature writing, and various aspects of multimedia journalism. Through a combination of journalism courses and related courses offered by other programs, students may also concentrate some of their work in particular areas of interest (e.g., sports reporting, journalism for social change or international journalism). The program begins in the fall semester and lasts for 18 months. No prior training or experience in journalism is required."

MRes in Advanced Spatial Analysis and Visualisation | University College London | England

"The MRes in Advanced Spatial Analysis and Visualisation at UCL Centre for Advanced Spatial Analysis (CASA) started in September 2011. The course is designed to reflect the latest developments in spatial data analysis and visualisation reflecting CASA's reputation in the fields of geographic, urban and architectural information systems. This innovative course provides an exciting opportunity to study at UCL with an MRes acting as a pathway to a PhD or further career in Advanced Spatial Analysis and Visualisation (ASAV)."

MFA Interactive Media | University of Miami | USA

"The University of Miami Interactive Media program aims to prepare a new generation of innovators and leaders in the field of interaction design. Its mission is to explore the use of technology, design, human behavior, and their impact on communication. The multidisciplinary curriculum brings together students from different backgrounds to learn about gaming, mobile, data visualization, interaction design, and other emerging technologies. The program trains students to research, prototype, design, and build projects in business, social, academic, and cultural contexts."

MSc Advanced Computer Science (Data Analytics) | University of Leeds | England

"This course will equip you with the advanced algorithm and programming skills needed to work in data analytics, and the freedom to specialize on particular kinds of data, including text analysis and data mining (online data, health informatics, and business), images (medical applications), and scientific computing and visualization (engineering and science). It also provides you with exposure to other cutting-edge technologies (cloud and mobile applications)."

MA Interactive Design | Ohio University | USA

"The Informational Design sequence breaks down into two specializations, Print design and Interactive Design. Students studying Print Design will have a wide knowledge of Information Architecture, Print Design and Layout, Typography and Web/Mobile Design. Students focusing on Interactive Design will cover topics in Information Architecture, Web Design, Animation, Prototyping and Web/Mobile Development."

MFA Interaction Design | School of Visual Arts | USA

"In the first year, students learn the concepts and methods of interaction design, starting with an understanding of people and the environments that drive their needs, goals and experiences. During the second year, students apply the concepts and methods from the first year of study to shape their thesis projects."

MA Interactive Journalism | City University London | England

"City's Interactive Journalism MA will prepare you to work in the rapidly-changing environment of online journalism, with a focus on two key areas: data journalism and community management. You will develop these online specialisations alongside essential journalistic skills of writing, reporting, newsgathering, interviewing and features - core elements of City's renowned Journalism MA programme. Journalism is changing to engage people more as active participants and less as passive consumers. This course prepares you for roles that reflect this change to a more interactive approach."

MSc by Research Visual Analytics | Middlesex University | England

"Visual analytics is a key requirement of the early 21st century. As our human activity generates rapidly increasing amounts of new data every day, there is an urgent need to make sense of it and a huge potential to elicit new knowledge and insights from it. World events and phenomena like climate change, 9/11, global finance systems and public health are data rich and increasingly complex. Visual analytics turns large and complex, data sets into interactive visualisations that can prompt visceral comprehension and moments of insight that are compelling and offer an unparalleled richness of possibility for data analysts. In this uncharted world of boundless data, visual analytics is providing our new maps and new ways of navigating. Data analytics is recognised as a key trend that will have a major impact on the IT and Communications industry in the next 5 years"

Information Experience Design | Royal College of Art | England

"The IED programme is rooted in research, with a cultural and independent creative outlook, supporting practice that is not restricted by industry expectations. This is not a programme for students whose primary practice is limited to predictable patterns of styling information delivery, nor is it designed to promote ambitions that are overtly commercially prescribed or autobiographical. The ambition of the programme is that it becomes a global focal point for research and the place where the key ideas and future forms at the intersection of information design and experience design are imagined."

Interactive Telecommunications Program | New York University | USA

"ITP is a two-year graduate program located in the Tisch School of the Arts whose mission is to explore the imaginative use of communications technologies — how they might augment, improve, and bring delight and art into people's lives. Perhaps the best way to describe us is as a Center for the Recently Possible."

MA Digital Media | University of the Arts Bremen | Germany

"Our Digital Media study programmes feature a unique combination of design, theory, and technology. The programme offers aspiring designers a thorough grounding in the artistic and functional application of digital media. Combining experimental and artistic elements with applied studies, the programme encourages young designers to reflect on the wider social context and repercussions of new technologies, while equipping them with the know-how to express their artistic vision."

MA Communication Design | University of the Arts London | England

"Like us, you view communication as a profound achievement of human evolution. It could be you’re investigating today’s significant communication design questions and engaging with ideas that will radically alter the current terrain. You may already have relationships with research bodies confronting key issues in your field. What you now seek is a laboratory for experimentation and sustained academic discourse."

MA Information Design | University of Reading | England

"This course builds a base of knowledge, experience and skills for the reflective practice of design. You learn to observe, evaluate and analyse to support your creative practice. Projects range from dealing with complex texts, to design support for wayfinding, to instruction and procedural explanations."

Masters in Graphic Design | IED Barcelona | Spain

"The Master in Graphic Information Design of IED Barcelona proposes to explore new path with the aim of setting visual communication strategies that allow the emission of contents (information) in a clearer, more efficient and more attractive manner on several platforms."

MA in Online Journalism | Birmingham City University | England (+Distance)

"Birmingham School of Media's MA in Online Journalism puts you at the cutting edge of these developments, building your multimedia newsgathering and production skills, along with enterprise skills and an understanding of data journalism, the management of user generated content, and online communities. The course, available on-campus or by distance learning, is led by Paul Bradshaw, one of the world's leading experts on online journalism."

Masters Interactive Media | University of Miami | USA

"The University of Miami Interactive Media program aims to prepare a new generation of innovators and leaders in the field of interaction design. Its mission is to explore the use of technology, design, human behavior, and their impact on communication. The multidisciplinary curriculum brings together students from different backgrounds to learn about gaming, mobile, data visualization, interaction design, and other emerging technologies. The program trains students to research, prototype, design, and build projects in business, social, academic, and cultural contexts."

MFA in Information Design and Visualization | Northeastern University | USA

"The first MFA program entirely dedicated to Information Design and Visualization trains students in harnessing visual languages to support discovery and communicate information across a range of socially relevant issues. We seek applicants from diverse backgrounds who are interested in exploring data, visual and auditory design, perception and creative inquiry. Both practicing professionals and recent undergraduates in fields such as architecture, graphic design, journalism, business, the humanities and sciences are welcome to apply."

Postgraduate Modules

Interactive Information Visualization | University of Paris Sud | France

"As the amount of on-line data is growing faster than the speed of computers to process them, it becomes harder and harder to analyze this data and to understand it both at a global level and a smaller scales. Such understanding is nevertheless a necessary prerequisite to any decision process. The goal of Information Visualization is to create visual representations that allow users to understand abstract data and to provide users with interaction capabilities that are designed to efficiently navigate and analyze these representations. The course presents the most recent works in this research domain by successively looking at the various types of visualizations according to the type of data being analyzed: tabular data, hierarchical data, graphs, texts."

CMSC 734 Information Visualization | University of Maryland | USA

"What is information visualization? How is it related to scientific visualization? How does it combine with data mining? Information visualization is emerging as an important fusion of graphics, scientific visualization, database, and human-computer interaction. Dozens of innovative visualizations for 1-, 2-, 3-, and multi-dimensional data have been proposed, along with creative designs for temporal, hierarchical, and network data. This course will examine the design alternatives (overviews, dynamic queries, zooming, etc.), algorithms and data structures, coordinated views, plus human factors evaluations of efficacy for a variety of tasks and users. Students will read current literature and conduct collaborative projects to design, implement, apply, and/or evaluate existing or novel visualizations. Mid-term and final exams will be given, so the course qualifies for MS and PhD comps."

MAT259 Visualizing Information | University of California, Santa Barbara | USA

"A lecture and lab course to explore the visual organization of information. Lectures, readings and technical demos will focus on a range of conceptual models of data visual mapping as implemented in various disciplines, artistic, statistical and scientific.. There are 3 projects to realize: 2D linear frequency mapping; 2D spatial treemap; 3D spatial, or time-based animation. Course requires 2 reference books: Ben Fry's is online, and there is a desk copy for the Graphics of Large Datasets by Unwin, etc. See other recommended references at end of syllabus."

Programa de postgrado de Visualización de la Información | Universitat Pompeu Fabra | Spain

[Translated] "The information visualization (InfoVis) is an emerging discipline that aims to amplify cognition (the transformation of information into knowledge), using the brain's innate abilities to detect patterns in perceptual stimuli, especially in vision. In the information society, we live flooded by large volumes of data and interpretation of difficult digestion. Using visualization techniques can greatly improve the understanding and analysis of the vast amounts of data that surround us today in any activity and thereby discover patterns that otherwise would be very complicated to find and communicate efficiently existing knowledge. The Graduate Program Information Display (DVI) provides students with the concepts and skills as well as the basic tools to move from raw data to information and from this to the graphical display of the most effective way to get an understanding of patterns (knowledge discovery) underlying the data or the actual transmission of existing knowledge to our audience, maximizing the cognitive qualities of our brain. by its very design, is a program cross aimed at professionals from any discipline in which the conversion of information into knowledge is a relevant fact."
[Original] "La visualización de la información (InfoVis) es una disciplina emergente que pretende amplificar la cognición (la transformación de información en conocimiento), utilizando las capacidades innatas del cerebro para detectar patrones en los estímulos perceptivos, especialmente en la visión. En la sociedad de la información, vivimos inundados por grandes volúmenes de datos de difícil digestión e interpretación. Mediante técnicas de visualización es posible mejorar ampliamente la comprensión y el análisis de la ingente cantidad de datos que nos rodean hoy en día en cualquier actividad y, con ello, descubrir patrones que, de otra manera, sería muy complejo hallar y comunicar de forma eficiente el conocimiento ya existente. El Programa de postgrado de Visualización de la Información (DVI) proporciona al estudiante los conceptos teóricos y prácticos, así como las herramientas básicas para pasar de los datos en bruto a la información y de esta a la visualización gráfica de la forma más efectiva, para conseguir la comprensión de los patrones (descubrir el conocimiento) subyacentes en los datos o la transmisión efectiva de un conocimiento existente a nuestra audiencia, aprovechando al máximo las cualidades cognitivas de nuestro cerebro. Por su propia concepción, es un programa transversal dirigido a los profesionales de cualquier disciplina en la que la conversión de información en conocimiento sea un hecho relevante."

Other Qualifications

Certificate in Data Visualisation | Dun Laoghaire Institute of Art, Design and Technology [IADT] | Ireland

"For the purposes of Data Visualisation, processing information involves analysis and communication. Information is analysed to assess the presence of interesting patterns and structures in data while the results of this analysis need to be communicated effectively. This course seeks to improve the efficiency of information processing by offering a visual, practical and hands-on approach to the analysis and communication of data. This facilitates the transformation of data into knowledge. The course is suitable for individuals involved in the collection, analysis or interpretation of data, as well as for those responsible for the communication of data to a range of audiences."

Certificate in Analytics and Data Visualization | NYU School of Continuing and Professional Studies | USA

"Today, big data is a universal priority, given its impact on industries like healthcare, journalism, finance, and science. Large data sets must be analyzed and visualized by forming and asking key questions and then by organizing the data to answer those questions. The analytics provide meaningful patterns in the data, and data visualization communicates the information clearly through graphical means. In this certificate program, students learn how communication links big data, storytelling, and design, while also facilitating the processing, organization, analysis, and visualization of data for various industry applications. Students explore the interplay of statistics, computer science, and visual graphics within the concepts, tools, and industry applications of this integrated, multidisciplinary program." Also check out this Google Map of Interaction Design programmes