Visualization for scientific discovery

Posted to Visualization  |  Nathan Yau

Jeffrey Heer on visualization for interactive exploration:

We were visualizing the results of a chain of models, including text modeling and dimensionality reduction. These models can sometimes give rise to misleading results, which we then spotted in the visualization. This result led us to consider how visualizations must do more than just turn data into images — it is vital that visualizations support interactive exploration and verification, so that one can not only uncover new hypotheses but begin the process of assessing their credibility. Another result of this work is that the insights gained from the visualizations enabled us to design better machine learning methods, such that our mathematical models of textual similarity better matched the judgments of human experts.

The rest of the Scientific American article is worth reading, mostly for the other quotes from Heer and Ben Shneiderman.

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.

A Day in the Life of Americans

I wanted to see how daily patterns emerge at the individual level and how a person’s entire day plays out. So I simulated 1,000 of them.

Causes of Death

There are many ways to die. Cancer. Infection. Mental. External. This is how different groups of people died over the past 10 years, visualized by age.

How to Spot Visualization Lies

Many charts don’t tell the truth. This is a simple guide to spotting them.