With data visualization, you start with the data and let it guide geometry, colors, etc, and from there, you work on aesthetics, readability, and usability. The data informs the design. Project Lincoln is an experiment from Adobe that flips this. You draw shapes and illustrations first and then bind data to them.
Here it is in action:
My brain was confused. Something about this order of things doesn’t feel right. You go in with design first and then bring in the data, and then you edit again? Maybe this would be useful for quick prototypes or visual experiments? It’s hard to say how this would go in practice without actually trying it out, but my gut says no.