4 Experts Comment on the Art of Data Visualization – Data Digest

Today’s data digest post is chock full of the best news and updates on data visualization.

4 experts comment on the art of data visualization

This first post gets right to the heart of what data visualization is all about. It’s a compilation of views from four different experts in the field, who offer unique, and valuable insights from their experience. Here’s the video, and below it, some of the notable quotes from the video.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AdSZJzb-aX8&w=640&h=385]

Style and aesthetics cannot rescue failed content (data)
Beautiful visualizations are a by-product of the truth
– Edward Tufte

We react to design, and the aesthetics of the piece just as much as we react to the information contained in it
– Julie Steele

A [data visualization] piece is successful when it communicates a message, that otherwise would have taken somebody hours to digest, in an instant
– Josh Smith Hyperakt

Data is a measurement of something, and often those somethings are human systems… we’re dealing with data systems that are larger than anything humans have ever built before
– Jer Thorp

Using algorithms to automate data visualization

An interesting post on fellinlovewithdata.com explores how we can use the power of computer algorithms in designing visuals. It starts out talking about how algorithms can decide the spatial layout of a visual. This would require algorithms to find the right position for each data element in a chart. Treemaps are a great example of algorithms automatically deciding the spatial layout of the visual. Treemaps are not based on coordinates, but require logic.

Treemap

There are some other interesting use cases in the article, and it is a thought-provoking read.

Selfie exploration from across the world

Selfies have been all the rage recently. Selfiecity.net has gathered a list of selfies from various countries, processed them using Amazon Mechanican Turk, and presented the data in a wildly interactive visualization that can be explored for hours.

Selfies Demo - Newyork Fix

Here are the major findings from the data:

  • People take less selfies than often assumed: Only 3-5% of images we analysed were actually selfies.
  • Significantly more women: In every city there are significantly more women selfies than men selfies
  • A young people’s sport? Indeed: Most people are pretty young (23.7 estimated median age)
  • Women strike more extreme poses, especially in Sao Paulo: Women’s selfies show more expressive poses; for instance, the average amount of head tilt is 50% higher than for men

That should have brought a smile to your face, and happy emotions to start off the new work week. Stay tuned for more data vizalicious information from us, and have a great week ahead!

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