I like to grab an older visualization book every now and then to see what others thought about before me. The discussions people have now about the “best” way to visualize data are typically recurring themes. The debates have been ongoing for decades — sometimes centuries — so even though visualization the field is relatively new, the process of turning data into shapes, geometries, and colors is a more fluid evolution than an itemized list of concrete decisions.
For my recent grab, I went back to 1984. I was about three years old at the time. The first printing of Designer’s Guide to Creating Charts & Diagrams by Nigel Holmes came out.
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FlowingData is a never-ending source of information, inspiration and instruction in data, visualization and design and Nathan Yau’s approach to exploring these subjects is both technical and familiar, somewhat similar to a discussion of a shared obsession over beers with a friend.
The tutorials are very helpful to move from "Oooo, cool!" to how to actually DO the cool.
…the inspiration I needed to start learning to code with a view to building more sophisticated and engaging data visualisations.