An introduction to diagrams

As a teaser for a larger project on diagrams, Jane Nisselson describes how they exist in the real world.

Diagrams are everywhere — from the established conventions of highway signs to the newly emerging visualizations appearing on social networking websites. Most people have a personal experience of diagrams whether drawing directions or figuring out how to operate a new computer. Yet very few people are familiar with how we read or construct diagrams.

This short film introduces the language of diagrams and their role in visual thinking and communication. As only a film can do, it reveals the vocabulary “in the wild” and in the context of making and using diagrams.

I’m looking forward to the rest if this is any indication of what’s to come.


Think Like a Statistician – Without the Math

I call myself a statistician, because, well, I’m a statistics graduate student. However, the most important things I’ve learned are less formal, but have proven extremely useful when working/playing with data.

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.

Watching the growth of Walmart – now with 100% more Sam’s Club

The ever so popular Walmart growth map gets an update, and yes, it still looks like a wildfire. Sam’s Club follows soon after, although not nearly as vigorously.

Years You Have Left to Live, Probably

The individual data points of life are much less predictable than the average. Here’s a simulation that shows you how much time is left on the clock.