Book genres for visualization

Martin Wattenberg and Fernanda Viegas from Google Research ran with the book metaphor for visualization in their talk at Tapestry 2014. Unlike some who bash projects that don’t fit a narrow specification, Wattenberg and Viegas argue that visualization spans various genres. The key is to know your genre and create accordingly.

Not everything is going to be Jane Eyre. There’s the Hardy Boys. Fifty Shades of Grey. Not all books are masterpieces, but they can be successful in their own right.

The talk is about 45 minutes, with a 15-minute Q&A. It’s worth listening to the whole thing. I watched it in two parts, over my lunch break.

I’ve been trying to watch more talks lately. I didn’t attend that many conferences in graduate school, but being part of an academic programming at least led me to research and work outside the online world. The good news is that more conferences put the talks online in their entirety, so you get a chance to listen to a lot of smart people talk about what they’re interested in.

Favorites

Top Brewery Road Trip, Routed Algorithmically

There are a lot of great craft breweries in the United States, but there is only so much time. This is the computed best way to get to the top rated breweries and how to maximize the beer tasting experience. Every journey begins with a single sip.

Life expectancy changes

The data goes back to 1960 and up to the most current estimates for 2009. Each line represents a country.

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.

Interactive: When Do Americans Leave For Work?

We don’t all start our work days at the same time, despite what morning rush hour might have you think.