The challenges of teaching data visualisation

People might seek teaching in data visualisation because they find themselves doing this…

Square

So you’ve got to find an accessible way to communicate this…

Complex

Without overly reducing it to this…

Simple

You know that some people might be wanting to do this…

Cool

But they really need to appreciate how and when to do this…

Practical

Whilst you want to acknowledge the classics like this…

Elegant

You’re also keen to give people a glimpse into this…

Future

You have to be respectful of this…

Police

But if you overly prescribe the rule book, everyone will end up like this…

Rules

When really you want to encourage flexibility to do this…

Flexible

Ultimately, you want people to leave with the confidence, know-how and aspiration to create this…

Perfect

Want to know how I balance these demands? Experiencing it for yourself

Data visualisation podcast recorded for NatureJobs

It is self-promotion day here on Visualising Data! Just published now is a podcast I did with Julie Gould from the NatureJobs blog, discussing various aspects of the data visualisation game.

Nature

Article on Harvard Business Review

If you were thinking that I’d thoroughly milked the ‘Design of Nothing‘ cow, you would be wrong.

I was recently asked to write about the subject in an article for the Harvard Business Review: ‘Visualizing Zero: How to Show Something with Nothing‘. This piece offers a brief overview of the content of my talk at OpenVisConf.

The article was published last Thursday 1st May but I wasn’t around at the time to share it further. Thank you for the many tweets I’ve read and nice bits of feedback. Mainly, thank you to Walter Frick for inviting me to write the piece!

HBR

Best of the visualisation web… March 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 March 2014.

Visualisations/Infographics

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

Malofiej22 | ‘The Spanish Chapter of the Society for New Design (SND) presents the final list of awarded entries from the 22nd Edition of the Malofiej Awards.’

Infosthetics | ‘CODE_n: Architectural-Scale Data Visualizations Shown at CeBit 2014′

Washington Post | ‘What happened to Flight 370?’

Washington Post | ‘The scale of the search for Flight MH370′

Lucas Infografia | Infographic from the South China Morning Post: ‘The War of the Worlds’

Vallandingham | ‘Want some more data visualization attempts, studies, and undertakings? Check out my new Experiments Section’

Earth Engine | ‘Explore different views into this global timelapse built from global, annual composites of Landsat satellite images. Watch change across the planet’s surface beginning as early as 1984.’

BBC Future | ‘Space Race: There are galaxies far, far away but how big is our own solar system?’

The Guardian | ‘As the Oscars age, so do the nominees’

Movehub | ‘Human Ooze Map: A Unique Look at Population Density’

Communication Arts | Showcasing the 38 winning projects from the ’2014 Interactive Annual’ awards

Vizual Statistix | ‘On and off the street grid: relative distributions of road orientations’

Global Migration | ‘Explore new estimates of migration flows between and within regions for five-year periods, 1990 to 2010. Click on a region to discover flows country-by-country.’

New York Times | ‘The Search for Malaysia Airlines Flight 370′

One Human Heartbeat | Jen Lowe put her heartbeat on the internet.

Twitter | Vintage graphic profiled in Scott Klein’s Malofiej talk

Rank and Filed | I don’t think I understand the subject particularly well but this is an interesting set of visualisations based on data collected by ‘Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC)’ by the ‘Electronic Data Gathering, Analysis and Retrieval (EDGAR)’ system

NATS | ‘A data visualisation showing a typical summer’s day of air traffic from last year.’

Atlas of Prejudice | ‘A book series with funny maps and essays about bigotry, paranoia, politics and prejudice by Yanko Tsvetkov, a leading international bigotry professional with a taste for unconventional historical studies.’

Global Rich List | Where are you on the global list?

New York Times | ‘Fewer Helmets, More Deaths’

Washington Post | ‘What made the mountain move?’

Visual Loop | ‘Portfolio of the Week – Misha Simakov: More examples of visual journalism from Russia’

SVDS | ‘History of Rock in 100 Songs’

usvsth3m | ‘The theme tune of your life is the song that was the US #1 on your ‘nth’ birthday’

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

Infogr8 | Infogr8′s Trend Report, best bits: “2014 – the year data visualisation turns from an afterthought to an essential starting point when informing an audience”

The Functional Art | ‘Infographics to explain, data visualizations to explore’

Drawing with Numbers | One for the Maths-heads amongst you: ‘L-System Fractals in Tableau’

Juice Analytics | ‘Three-and-a-half lessons learned from network diagrams’

FILWD | ‘Course Diary #3: Beyond Charts: Dynamic Visualization’

Malofiej22 | ‘The importance of appropriately range of data in a map’

Well-Formed Data | One of several posts published this month attempting to make sense and form some definitions around what stories and storytelling with data, here’s Moritz’s opening offering…

EagerEyes | Here’s Robert’s counter post to Moritz’s: ‘Stories Are Gateways Into Worlds’

Ghostweather R&D Blog | Lynn Cherny takes on the baton: ‘Implied Stories (and Data Vis)’

Periscopic | As does Dino of Periscopic: ‘A Framework for Talking About Data Narration’

Periscopic | ‘Talking Numbers at Visualized’: A recap of Kim Rees’ talk at Visualized where ‘Kim rocked the boat by calling for rethinking our mania with storytelling’

HP | ‘Earth Insights’ is a project that facilitates ‘scientists, environmental leaders and the wider public to see changes in ecology and biodiversity… from any location around the world’.

The Great Discontent | Long interview with Nicholas Felton

Source | ‘Newsroom analytics: A primer’

Bloomberg Business Week | ‘Sha Hwang, the Designer Hired to Make Obamacare a Beautiful Thing’

Cool Infographics | ‘The State of Infographics at SxSW 2014′

Scientific American | ‘The Data-Visualization Revolution: Virtual “telescopes” for big data make it possible to see through the deluge’

Source | From a year ago but I was reminded of it and its worth another share ‘The NYT’s Amanda Cox on Winning the Internet’ from OpenVisConf 2013

Gizmodo | ‘Let’s All Cool It With These Stupid Maps’

Graphicarto | …and as a counterpoint: ‘The Lost Art of Critical Map Reading’

The Guardian | ‘Infographics for children: what they can learn from data visualisations’

Wannabe Awesome Me | ‘Tapestry takeaways’

Tow Center | ‘Debugging the backlash to data journalism’

MIT News | ‘emocratizing data visualization: Study examines use of ‘Exhibit’ tools in creating interactive data visualizations.’

Penn State | ‘Health researchers build bridges with Penn State’s new visualization wall’

Time | Long form article about the Google Timelapse project profiled above

Michael Babwahsingh | ‘Rational Thinking Made Tangible’

Metropop | Article to accompany the ‘Global Flow’ project above: ‘A circular data visualisation that makes international migration flow data more accessible.’

FastCo Labs | ‘How The Rise Of The “R” Computer Language Is Bringing Open Source To Science’

NPR | ‘Who Had Richer Parents, Doctors Or Artists?’

Learning & Development

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

Chartsnthings | Process narrative behind the development of the New York Times’ 4th Down Bot, a news application that analyses NFL 4th down decisions in real time

Wolfram | ‘Harness the power of Mathematica to interactively visualize your data. This Wolfram Training course features a series of examples that show how to create a rich interface for exploring data in depth.’

Twitter | A seemingly small tweet from @stefpos turns into a fascinating discussion

Dominikus | Breaking down the challenge of creating the ‘selfiecity’ project

Ahoi | Paper: ‘A Visual Survey, Classification and Analysis of Data Visualizations at and of Events’

Evergreen Data | ‘Adding Standard Deviation to a Dataviz’

Slideshare | ‘Storyboarding csa2013 – Simple sketching for UX, user research & content strategy’

Peltier Tech | ‘Dot Plots in Microsoft Excel’

Source | ‘How we made the SOTU Twitter Visualisation: The Twitter #Interactive team breaks it down’

Knight Lab | ‘Don’t believe your eyes: Learning how to be critical with Alberto Cairo’

Data+Science | ‘A Graph Recreation in Tableau – Part 2: How To Build’

Bizweekgraphics | ‘Process post: how to make a giant oil spill map the hard way’

Kent.edu | Paper: ‘Crowdsourcing Graphical Perception: Using Mechanical Turk to Assess Visualization Design’

Source | ‘Network diagrams are hard: NPR’s Alyson Hurt on the challenges of making good network diagrams’

13pt | ‘Two Little Ducks: A summary of Jonathan Corum’s talk at the 22nd Malofiej conference at the University of Navarra, Pamplona.’

Youtube | Videos from the Tapestry Conference 2014

UW Graphics Group | Paper: ‘Perception of Average Value in Multiclass Scatterplots’

Darkhorse Analytics | ‘Clear Off the Table’

Subject News

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

Google Maps | Large gallery of maps on Google, with top rated and staff picks. If you’re name is Rob Simmon, I’d maybe skip over this one…

Visage | New tool: ‘Visage transforms the uninspired data in your reports into beautiful, branded visualizations that make your message more impactful—and make your work look good.’

Visual.ly | ‘Book Review: The Visual Organization by Phil Simon’

Fivethirtyeight | With the launch of FiveThirtyEight, here’s Nate Silver’s manifesto

The Guardian | ‘Journalism startups aren’t a revolution if they’re filled with all these white men’
Data Docs | New Tool: ‘Data Docs is a series of embeddable interactive video narratives, designed to render seamlessly on desktop and mobile (tablet and smartphone) devices.’

The Why Axis | ‘What Yahoo’s Latest Acquisition Means for Data Visualization’

Aesop Story Engine | New Tool: ‘Aesop Story Engine is a collection of thirteen unique components wrapped in a plugin that can be used to tell rich, interactive stories in (almost) any WordPress theme.’

Numberpicture | eBook from Number Picture, register to view

Variance Charts | New Tool: ‘Build powerful data visualizations for the web.
Without writing JavaScript.’

NYPL | ‘Open Access Maps at NYPL’

Mapbox | ‘Zeit Online Launches Custom Maps’

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 | ‘Now You Can Buy Art Created From Your DNA’

Polygon | ‘Game designer cracks through myths about women in the games industry’

Glyphr Studio | ‘Glyphr Studio is a free, html5 based font editor.’

Gurusability | ‘Personas for video game development’

New Scientist | ‘Google Flu Trends gets it wrong three years running’

The Guardian | ‘How computer analysts took over at Britain’s top football club’

The Onion | ‘Breaking News: Series Of Concentric Circles Emanating From Glowing Red Dot’

Youtube | ‘LEDBIKE is a piece of modern art that displays real time data streamed from Barclays Cycle Hire Stations, from all across London.’

Vimeo | ‘Scraping Google Street View depth map and reconstructing it with openFrameworks’

Wired | ‘The Mathematical Formula for Beauty, Explained in Clever Pictures’

Wired | ‘Artists and makers, it’s time to be leaders’

Twitter | Correcting a Fox News graphic classic

FastCo Design | Putting a 14 year old in his place: ‘Why Garamond Won’t Save The Government $467 Million A Year’

Twitter | ‘Do you drink bottled water? Perhaps this will make you think twice!’

Upworthy | ‘What Uniques And Pageviews Leave Out (And Why We’re Measuring Attention Minutes Instead)’

Twitter | “The 8 types of bad creative critics”

Talk slides from OpenVisConf 2014: The Design of Nothing

Below you will find an embedded slideshare version of the slides used in last week’s talk at OpenVisConf 2014 held in Boston (well, officially Cambridge but Boston was only a bridge away). The quality of the slide images hasn’t quite been preserved in the upload but you’ll get the idea at least. I’ve also dabbled with embedding videos into the slideshare deck.

As ever, the presentation slides are just visual props for a talk so you won’t be able to necessarily decipher the exact narrative that accompanied each subject. I was going to provide a detailed narrative similar to the wonderful way Jonathan Corum does. However, the video of the talk should be released soon and I have written a short article for the Harvard Business Review (publishing soon). I also might like to do the talk again at another opportunity…

Quick training workshops update

This is a boring, administrative, bullet-pointy post to share a few quick updates about my training workshops requiring more than twitter’s 140 characters limit:

  • My next workshop is on Friday 16th May in Montreal. There are still a number of places left for this event, read more and register here.
  • The Chicago workshop on Monday 19th May is sold out, sorry to anyone who wanted to attend but couldn’t make the list in time
  • There are a handful of places left on my London workshop on 29th May but these will go quickly. Details and registration here.
  • I am running a co-located training workshop on 9th June as part of EuroVis 2014 in Swansea, Wales. This cost of this event is incorporated into the full Conference Week registration or just the Co-Located Events registration. More details and registration here.
  • General Assembly London will be hosting me for a short 90 minute evening seminar on 14th July, details and registration here.
  • I have added an additional London workshop to my schedule on 7th August, details and registration here
  • I am now looking to receive suggestions for my next set of scheduled locations for the second half of 2014 so send me your wish list!

I will be launching my new website in a few weeks time and this will include a brand new training page and new offerings, including more longer and shorter forms of the workshops. Stay tuned…

 

What’s happened to the trust?

I’m posting this as a separate discussion thread but in follow up to the previous post about the Gun Crimes chart and the issue of confusion vs. deception. Taking a helicopter/big picture view of this discussion, Tom MacInnes has raised an excellent observation:

 

So many people have reacted so badly to that chart, I’m actually quite shocked.

Simpsons

Even with the designer’s own explanation (clearly showing the motive for the choice as being inspired by a design metaphor) there are still very angry and accusatory views out there, illustrated by this exchange:

Twitter

What is it that causes such an evident lack of trust? Is it the subject matter of gun crimes that is inherently so emotive that anything that remotely creates confusion or leads to misreading is playing with fire? Is it the lack of trust about work emanating from the media? I would have thought that the provenance of this graphic coming from Reuters, with its international scope and (in my view) non-political leaning would be something that would remove some of the ire, but clearly not.

At the end of the day, clearly it is a good thing that there is a large (and growing?) audience out there capable of calling out graphics for potential shortcomings. Just maybe not necessarily with the quantity of pitch forks we’ve seen today and maybe directed less towards accusation of corrupt intent and more towards appreciation that a design choice maybe hasn’t quite worked out.

I have to say I feel a great amount of sympathy Christine having to read the volume of flak her work has led to. She has responded to the criticism positively (below) and I truly hope this doesn’t deter her or other designers from having the courage to occasionally pursue non-standard charting approaches.

The fine line between confusion and deception

Overnight I saw quite a few tweets spinning off an article ‘How to Lie with Data Visualisation‘. Initially, I mistakenly thought this had been written by Aatish Bhatia but it was actually from Ravi Parikh. It is a good article picking up on some of the classic subjects of our ire (Fox News, truncated y-axes).

misleading1_yaxis

I did, however, disagree with the inclusion of this graphic produced by Reuters.

GunDeaths

I couldn’t see the ‘lie’ demonstrated by this graphic that would force it to join those others on the naughty step. For me to read it I look at the more red equals the more deaths. Focusing on the shape of the colour rather than the passage of the line reveals the changes over time and the y-axis labels support the fact that a higher vertical position means a lower count of deaths. Once again, for me, it was clearly just an upturned area chart used to achieve the metaphor of a blood effect, and likely inspired by the below graphic produced by Simon Scarr (then of the South China Morning Post now of Reuters).

Unnamed_CCI_EPS

Simple, right? Well, not necessarily. The response on twitter through some good discussions has largely been supportive of the article’s stance and less so on my seemingly contrarian view. (I feel like I’ve been here before…).

So here’s a few further observations and thoughts.

(1) I think a key discussion here is the distinction between confusion and deception. I’m not going delve too much into the semantics of language definition but my sense of the difference is that ‘deception’ is generally something you knowingly intend, ‘confusion’ is a by-product effect of something not being clear. I’m not necessarily defending or celebrating this particular graphic, I’m really remarking that, unlike some of these other cases, there isn’t anything in my experience reading the graphic that felt like deception.

This was further reinforced by seeing a reply from the designer, Christine Chan’s, to a question about the graphic.

(2) Everyone’s own reaction is entirely legitimate. Regardless of whether someone is telling you this is the best or the worst visualisation ever made, how you respond to it and how well you draw interpretations from it are entirely for you to resolve. I’m not defending me here, by the way, just saying we all have different responses based on all sorts of factors such as our experience, knowledge of a subject, interest in a subject, taste and graphical literacy

(3) The issue of graphical literacy is incredibly interesting and important. The ability to read and interpret chart types is something we are not trained to do. We ‘get by’ through experience, practice and exposure. Some people find different charts and graphics easier to read and interpret than others so there is rarely a common experience. As designers, our objective has to be to try help overcome any obstacles people might experience in the readability of our representations, either through our design choices or through explanatory annotations. I will be posting much more about one of my current projects working with a research team hosted at University of Leeds to explore this matter of graphical literacy amongst the general public.

(4) On a similar matter, I include the Iraq graphic in most of my training workshops (and it is admittedly in my top ten graphics ever). I am therefore especially familiar with and potentially more primed to ‘get’ a graphic that uses a similar device of the upturned dribbling blood effect without it having any misleading impact on me.

(5) Some great points were made about the effect of the area chart’s colours creating a figure-ground illusion that means we can naturally be drawn towards the dominant shape of the ‘white’ area chart (and in the upward direction we normally might expect an area chart to be directed) more so than the big area of colour. I didn’t experience this but clearly others have, particularly likely caused by the x-axis labels being at the bottom of the chart (thus almost framing the ‘white’ area chart). In contrast, several mentioned that the bar charts in the Iraq graphic almost ‘punctured’ this figure-ground illusion and had the x-axis labels across the top.

Anyway, here is a storify’d collection of responses. It in an interesting discussion to sustain I think.

Best of the visualisation web… February 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 February 2014.

Visualisations/Infographics

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

Data Remixed | ‘Visualizing History’ via a Presidential Gantt chart

New York Times | ‘Is That a Luge in Times Square?’

Fathom | ’2013 Year in Nike Fuel’

NZZ | Great long-form piece about snowboarder Iouri Podladtchikov – designed and developed by Interactive Things (check out the YOLO flip graphic)

xkcd | ‘Frequency’

Mappingteam | ‘A Diorama of Player Movement in Sport’ (see article link too)

Bloomberg | ‘Bubble to Bust to Recovery’ – nice multi-tabbed digital story

The Variable Tree | ‘London maps and bike rental communities, according to Boris Bike journey data’

Arthur Buxton | ‘Colourstories – colour in picture book narrative’

Science Mag | ‘Science and the National Science Foundation present the winners of the 2013 International Science and Engineering Visualization Challenge.’

Flowing Data | ‘Using slime mold to find the best motorway routes’

Information Aesthetics | ‘Visualising Mill Road: Informing Communities by Infographics in the Street’

Refined Practice | ‘Visualising Ministerial Lobbying in the UK’

Moebio | ‘Life, the Universe, Everything: A Journey to the things that matter through Information Visualisation’

Hello Monday | ‘Into the Arctic’ – Take a journey into the Arctic through a hugely immersive digital documentary/story

Facegroup | ‘How Stuff Spreads: How Videos Go Viral part I’

New York Times | Winner of a gold at Malofiej 23, the interactive stories created for the Sochi 2014 coverage. Good grief.

Business Insider | The connected scatterplot is rebadged as the ‘swirlogram’

Geo Visualist | ‘One Chart that Explains Why Ukraine was Vulnerable to Revolution’

Brandon Rose | Summer Olympics: A visualization of participant countries’ actual Olympic performance measured against predicted performance estimated using GDP, population, and past performance.

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

PolicyViz | The first of Jon Schwabish’s 8 (EIGHT) part overview detailing his experiences at Visualized conference

Scientific American | Great article by Jen Christiansen ‘Don’t Just Visualize Data—Visceralize It’

Hogeschool Utrecht | *Dreadful self-publicity klaxon* an video interview I gave data visualisation during my time at @ccjhu in Utrecht earlier in the year. Yes, I’d been out the night before.

SQL Server Blog | Article about the SQL Server Team’s thinking about data visualizations in relation to Power BI for Office 365

AEA | Great article from that man Schwabish (again) providing ‘An Economist’s Guide to Visualizing Data’ for the Journal of Economic Perspectives

FILWD | Enrico begins his excellent series of diary posts relating his experiences teaching information visualisation to students at NYU. To start with ‘Basic Charts’…

FILWD | …and here’s diary entry #2 ‘Beyond Charts: High-Information Graphic’

UX Blog | ‘Blind Spots, Blue Lights, and Campus Security’

Tableau Public | Andy Cotgreave compiles the ‘Most Influential Tableau-Related Blog Posts’

Nieman Journalism Lab | ‘The Guardian experiments with a robot-generated newspaper with The Long Good Read’…

The Long Good Read | …and another great and related piece on ‘Algorithmic newspapers and publishing’

Voilà | Oh man, this is turning into the Jon Schwabish show! (Jon, we should have made it $50, not $20). Anyway, here’s an interesting interview he gave with Francis Gagnon about his past, present and future in the field.

Voilà | And now another shout out for Francis, with his great round up of his experiences at Tapestry Conference 2014

The Economist | ‘Turning information into art’

Mother Jones | ‘This Map Does Not Show What Your State’s Favorite Band Is’

CIO | ‘What animated movies can teach you about data analysis’

Axismaps | ‘In Defense of Bad Maps’

Sensory Maps | ‘Design Dimension on BBC Radio 4 – Design & Desire through Smellwalking’ (Sadly, I think this may have now dropped off the schedules)

Perceptual Edge | ‘Are Mosaic Plots Worthwhile?’

Maarten Lambrechts | More discussion (in Dutch, but google translate is good) about plagiarism in data visualisation (this one is screemingly blatant!)

Untapped Cities | ‘Beautiful Maps, and the Lies They Tell, An Op-Ed From Runkeeper’

Visualized | Emerging collection of videos of the talks from this year’s Visualized event

FastCo Labs | ‘This Is What Happens When Publishers Invest In Long Stories’

Learning & Development

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

Source | ‘How we made “Behind the Bloodshed”: Behind the scenes with USA Today and Gannett Digital’

MIT Sloan | Process narrative from Damien Saunder describing ‘How We Made Nadal’s Interactive Game Tree’

Datavisualization.ch | Peter describes the process of creating *that* YOLO graphic

Vallandingham | ‘Let’s Make a Bar Chart with Lyra’

Junk Charts | Great piece by Kaiser ‘Knowledge in the chart and knowledge in the head’

Google Datasense | ‘This self-paced, online course is intended for anyone who wants to learn more about how to structure, visualize, and manipulate data.’ (whoops, the course closes on 4th April. Today is 4th April, get on it now)

ATH Creative | ‘My answer to the question: “So, what do you do?” (Part 2)’

Postgraphics | ‘Behind the Scenes: Mountains of the Olympics’

style.org | A summary of Jonathan Corum’s talk at the second Visualized conference: ‘The Weight of Rain’

Density Design | ‘Contropedia: Visualizing controversial topics on Wikipedia’

Fathom | ‘Game on! Data, in its multiple forms, can range from the very abstract to the most tangible. We tend to be type-agnostic, but recently a particularly clear set of data caught our eye: real-time position tracking for sports events.’

Subject News

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

Eager Eyes | Launching NewsVis.org, the ‘Directory of News Visualizations’

Dataveyes | Nice new site design from the good folks at Dataveyes

Stanford | Stanford scientists put free text-analysis tool (‘etcML’) on the web

Silk | ‘We just launched the new Explore page, which greatly improves the way you can visualize and filter the information on any Silk.’

Territory | Newly discovered site for ‘Territory Studio’ an independent, creative agency based in London working on some incredible design, motion and digital projects (particularly of interest those high-end works for Hollywood movies)

Think Insights | ‘Datagrams: Animated Instagram videos, created in real time with US Open stats.’

Amazon | New book: “Infographics: Human Body”, by Simon Rogers, Jenny Broom and Peter Grundy

ProPublica | ‘The ProPublica Data Store: ProPublica is making available the datasets that power our data journalism’

VenutureBeat | ‘Knowledge-based programming: Wolfram releases first demo of new language, 30 years in the making’

Github | New site: A single collection of the interactive data projects developed by Twitter

Palladio | New tool: ‘Palladio’ (beta) – ‘We are building a tool for data visualization in the humanities, help us improve it!’

UW Interactive Data Lab | New tool: Introducing ‘The Lyra Visualization Design Environment (VDE)’

Graf.ly | New tool: Graf.ly – ‘Use Graf.ly to present your data in ways that have previously only been available to teams of dedicated developers and designers’

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

The Functional Art | ‘Bill Gates emulates Hans Rosling’

Storyteller Game | Storyteller – A game about building stories

ProPublica | ‘Non-Profit Journalism: Issues around impact’

Devart | ‘Play the world: Visitors are invited to perform with a keyboard that finds samples with the same note in realtime from web radio stations from around the world, essentially allowing them to play the world.’

Spritz | Reading re-imagined: ‘Spritz’s mission is to change the way people read and make communication faster, easier, and more effective.’

Twitter | ‘I vote yes to this map’

Twitter | ‘As New York installs its first interactive subway maps, a reminder that Paris has had them since 1937′

Wonkviz | ‘Should I make a nested pie chart?’

Twitter | ‘Family game console from JC Penney, 1976′

Twitter | ‘Far too many ‘programming tutorials’ are like this’

Dean McNamee | ‘Bar Portraits: Image processing and portrait vectorization’

Request for your 6-second acting skills!

As I mentioned in my previous post, many moons ago, I am giving a talk at the OpenVisConf in 3 weeks’ time. The title of my talk is ‘The design of nothing’ and in this last post I reached out for people to send in stories or examples related to this matter.

I now have a follow up request that might not get the same volume of responses but let’s see how we go. I want you to do some acting for me!

*** Update: I have received loads of great vines. There are a few people who have been in touch and are still planning on doing a spoken video soon, otherwise, I would now just ask for silent vines/short videos of people shaking their heads, holding a frowned expression, demonstrating confusion and disgust at this potential subject. Thanks for your help! ***

Clapboard

Below are the tweets I just posted to invite people to record and send me a 6 second vine video selfie for me to (hopefully) include in a particular section of my talk. I want people to say the words ‘The design of nothing?’ in a very confused and dismissive way (as in, why would anyone talk about the design of nothing, this is madness?!). Ideally I would like to get as many different non-english languages as possible.

For more guidance, I would say spend 2/3 seconds saying the words then the remainder of the 6 seconds shaking your head/holding a confused look. But I don’t want to cramp your creative style so feel free to express yourself.

Hopefully we’ll have enough submissions to make up a nice video wall otherwise I might be forced to do some acting of my own (nobody wants that) or indeed approach some innocent people off the street/in airports (the authorities don’t want that). If there are too many then I will politely inform people to stand down (I don’t anticipate that though!)

So, just imagine, your face, your acting skills, on the big stage: being projected on to a screen at the hottest conference to hit Boston this year. It’s also Friday so there’s nothing better to do at work, is there?

As Andy Warhol didn’t say, “In the future, everyone will be famous for 6 seconds”.