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

Best Data Visualization Projects of 2016

Here are my favorites for the year.

Reviving the Statistical Atlas of the United States with New Data

Due to budget cuts, there is no plan for an updated atlas. So I recreated the original 1870 Atlas using today’s publicly available data.

19 Maps That Will Blow Your Mind and Change the Way You See the World. Top All-time. You Won’t Believe Your Eyes. Watch.

Many lists of maps promise to change the way you see the world, but this one actually does.

This is an American Workday, By Occupation

I simulated a day for employed Americans to see when and where they work.