World Visualization Day (Really)

Posted to Site News  |  Nathan Yau

World Visualization Day LogoI thought Robert was just thinking out loud when he wrote his post on World Visualization Day, but I was apparently wrong. There’s now a simple World Visualization Day site, a World Visualization Day Facebook group, and a first pass at a logo.

World Visualization Day aims to take visualization out of the ivory tower of academia and bring it to the people. On one day of the year (which still needs to be decided), there will be events throughout the world for the general public to become aware of the power and usefulness of visualization, and to learn how to use it.

I think this is an excellent idea. Nobody outside of the field seems to have a clue about what visualization is. It’s always funny to talk to my mom about what I do. Despite all the nodding and mm hmm-ing, I know it’s all completely over her head.

It gets even worse when I start talking to people about Statistics. The eyes glaze over, and I just know they’re not even listening. Nobody seems to know what Statistics is outside of sports figures and standard deviation. “If I were doing what you were doing, I’d be a sports statistician.” Sure that’d be cool, but you know, there’s more to Statistics than the number of touchdowns Randy Moss has scored this season (It’s 10 by the way. He’s my top fantasy football player :).

What about a World Statistics Day?

I’m tempted to ask for a World Statistics Day, but what would that even involve? A bunch of results from analyses? Theory? Algorithms? It would probably end up looking a lot like a World Visualization Day. Statistics results always seem to be more compelling when accompanied by some sexy visualization.

Nevermind. I’m getting off-topic. So yeah, World Visualization Day, check it out. It’d be fun to see all of the world’s top information and data visualists (?) putting together pieces to show everyone what visualization really is.

3 Comments

  • There is no reason why you can’t use World Visualization to have your own World Statistics Day! ;) You can (and probably should) use graphs and visualizations to get the concepts across. There are many different types of visualization, and also areas that are bordering visualization like statistical graphics, information graphics, etc., I don’t see why we would need to draw a line between those. As long as it’s visual and based on data or information, it can fit under the visualization umbrella.

  • This sounds like a great venue to use visualization to emphasize the differences between practical and statistical significance. I think the results mentioned in the post “Does Your Name Affect How You Perform in Life?” might accomplish this.

  • This sounds like a great venue to use visualization to emphasize the differences between practical and statistical significance. I think the results mentioned in the post “Does Your Name Affect How You Perform in Life?” might accomplish this.

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