Piece de resistance: Data viz wrapup

And, scene.  That’s a term borrowed from theater, it’s used as an act or scene closes.  My giant Chicago art gallery persistence project is completed.  We’ve got a trend article that uses CAR techniques, and a Flash visualization and a searchable database.  The main thrust to the story is that of the galleries that existed […]

Visual confections are more than mere presentation

Data visualization.  It’s one of those terms that can mean so many things.  I say I’m doing an independent study on data visualization this quarter.  That’s true.  But a better description would be “data visualizations for journalism.”  I’ve talked about this with people before, a lot of pieces are gorgeous, and they do convey information, […]

Repetition, repetition: The power of multiples

Posted by on Feb 9, 2010 in Blog, class, tufte | No Comments

Teachers are true heroes in today’s society, I owe so much to almost every one that I’ve ever had the privilege of working with. As the daughter of an elementary school teacher, and from teaching some classes on my own, I know that repetition is a key part of passing knowledge from your brain to […]

Parallelism: Packing information into visualization

Posted by on Jan 30, 2010 in Blog, class, data visualizations, tufte | No Comments

Information is fascinating at many different levels. Show me a simple graph of the components that make up a whole, that tells me something. I’ve found almost anything is more interesting when looked at across time, since it adds another dimension. This also helps with analysis, because outliers or rapid changes are often related to […]

Personal reflection: Tufte’s messing with my head

Posted by on Jan 25, 2010 in Blog, theory, tufte | No Comments

My eyes have been opened by the readings I’ve been doing from Tufte. While I only assigned myself “Visual Explanations,” I’m beginning to feel as if I want to soak up as much of his work as possible. So, I went to my advisor’s office (Rich Gordon), where the walls are lined with what feels […]

Keep it subtle, stupid: Differentiating data values in visualizations

Posted by on Jan 25, 2010 in Blog, class, tufte | No Comments

I’m not anything resembling a visual genius, but I like to believe I have enough of an eye that I can tell what works and what doesn’t.  The reason Tufte’s books are so helpful is that they tell me why something works, and give me rules so I know what I can and can’t do.  […]

Committing fact errors in visualizations

Posted by on Jan 18, 2010 in Blog, class, data visualizations, tufte | No Comments

At Medill, there’s a wonderful tradition called the “Medill F.”  Make a factual error of any sort, and you fail the assignment.  The sadistic part of me likes it — a journalist’s job is to tell the truth.  If you miss the mark, you’ve failed the public, and failed at your job for the day. […]

Importance of combining data analysis with context (reflections on readings from week two)

“Visual and Statistical Thinking: Displays of Evidence for Making Decisions,” Edward Tufte, Visual Explanations This chapter gave practical examples of something I’ve been saying from almost the first day of my data analysis journey — that it’s absolutely fundamental that the decisions behind the analysis are shown to the reader/user.  Data’s never perfect, and if […]

Reflections on Visualization Theory (Data viz readings, week 1)

In this first set of reading, I learn that the principles of simplicity, accuracy and more are as true in data visualization as they are in a text story. Edward Tufte, Visual Explanations, “Images and Quantities” In Tufte’s first paragraph of Visual Explanations, he discusses the importance of readability — a concept I see as […]