Interview: Fernanda Viégas and Martin Wattenberg

Posted to Visualization  |  Nathan Yau

Andrew interviews Fernanda and Martin about their new venture Flowing Media, visualization, and their amazing taste in adjectives. On the divide between art and science as it pertains to visualization:

The only divide that matters is between good work and bad. Contextualized questions like, “Does technique X help biologists investigate gene regulation?” or “Would installation Y be an inspirational addition to our museum exhibit on generative art?” are necessary and useful. More general debates about the role of art versus science are fun, but can also be distracting and block the flow of ideas.

In any case, arguing about labels isn’t effective because language has a life of its own. For instance, “social network” once meant a specific sociological model, but for most people today it means Facebook or MySpace. It may annoy sociologists, but that’s just how the language evolved. Now the word “visualization” is starting to become part of the popular lexicon. Who can say what it will mean in ten years?

That sounds about right. Read the full interview on infosthetics.

Favorites

10 Best Data Visualization Projects of 2015

These are my picks for the best of 2015. As usual, they could easily appear in a different order on a different day, and there are projects not on the list that were also excellent.

Jobs Charted by State and Salary

Jobs and pay can vary a lot depending on where you live, based on 2013 data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Here’s an interactive to look.

Marrying Age

People get married at various ages, but there are definite trends that vary across demographic groups. What do these trends look like?

The Best Data Visualization Projects of 2014

It’s always tough to pick my favorite visualization projects. Nevertheless, I gave it a go.