We have Marian Dörk on the show today to talk about the “Information Flaneur”: an approach to data visualization centered on navigating, exploring, browsing and observing the data with curiosity to learn about what’s there to see and to be surprised by new thoughts and discoveries.
Marian is Research Professor at the University of Applied Sciences Potsdam near Berlin where he works on “exploring novel uses of interactive visualizations to support a wide range of information practices”.
We talk about many interesting new directions for visualization like the visualizing data starting from a few seed points, whether we always need an overview first in visualization and tips on how to design visualization for “information flaneurs”.
We have a super guest this time on the show! Ben Shneiderman joins us to talk about his new treemap art project (beautiful treemap prints you can hang on the wall), treemaps and their history, and information visualization in general. Needless to say, we had a wonderful time chatting with him: lots of history and very inspiring thoughts (tip: we should look at vis 50-100 years from now!)
We did it again: we have a special episode directly from IEEE VIS’13 (the premier academic conference on visualization). Enrico caught Robert Kosara and recorded almost one hour of highlights from the conference. And there is a final message for Moritz too! Don’t miss it.
Here we go with another great episode. This time more on the data side. We have Kate Crawford (Principal Researcher at Microsoft Research) on the show talking about the other face of big data. That is, after all the excitement, hype, and buzz, she is the one who is asking the tough questions: Is more data always better? Is there any objective truth in it? Is big data really making us smarter? Etc.
We are back after a relaxing summer with a brand new episode! We have Petra Isenberg, from the Aviz team at INRIA (we had other guests from the same lab in the past) as guest talking about visualization on non-standard devices and environments. Yes, stuff like display walls, surfaces, tabletops, and people collaborating around them. It feels like the future is here and there’s a ton of potentially interesting applications for visualization.
Petra gives us hints on what works what does not work, what research says, what has been tried already and what needs to be explored, etc. She also gives practical recommendations at the end on how to start doing visualization on these devices. That’s really cool stuff!
In this episode we talk about visualization on mobile and touch devices. How do you design visualization interfaces for this kind of devices? How different is it to interact with your fingertips rather than with your mouse? Advantages, disadvantages, unexplored opportunities?
00:00:00 Enrico and Mo go on vacations
00:02:28 Our guest: Dominikus Baur
00:04:06 Life logging and personal media
00:05:39 Why mobile visualization, and how is it different from desktop visualizations?
00:09:24 Mobile interaction
00:13:27 Mobiles for interaction with other displays
00:14:38 Augmented reality
00:15:54 TouchWave – touch interaction with stacked graphs
00:24:45 Analytical, advanced visualization on mobile?
00:26:44 Self-tracking and life logging
00:31:17 Daytum app
00:32:54 Other good mobile visualization apps
00:35:12 Second screen apps
00:36:28 Moritz wants an atlas
00:37:04 The age of ghettoblasters
00:38:00 Use mobiles to interact with large screens
00:41:48 Technology: native, or web-based?
00:46:07 Better Life Index: HTML5 port works on mobiles, tablets
00:48:00 Research on mobile and touch interactions
00:50:39 Large screens
00:58:54 How to get started
01:01:13 Dominikus will start a blog!!
Dominikus’ TouchWave (rich interaction with stackgraphs)
In this episode we talk about the VAST Challenge, a visual analytics contest organized every year co-located with the IEEE VIS Conference, the premier venue for academic work in visualization.
The VAST Challenge has many unique features (like the generation of synthetic data sets with injected ground truth) and this year for the first time it features a predictive analytics and design mini-challenge (Stephen Few’s talked about it too here) you should definitely check out.
We talk with Prof. Georges Grinstein from UMass Lowell and Celste Paul from NSA. They give us lots of details about how the data is generated, how the entries are evaluated and how it looks like participating to the contest.
You guys should actually give it a try and rock it!
Note: We suggest you give a look to the links below (under the heading “Cases We Discuss in the Podcast”) before listening to the podcast, most of the episode is centered around these examples we selected for discussion.
00:03:46 Main topic today: inspiration or plagiarism with our guests Mahir M. Yavuz and Bryan Connor
00:07:53 Is data visualization turning into a copycat scene?
00:08:32 Remake of subway map by New Yorker
00:14:03 Idea – technology – aesthetics
00:16:06 Patterns ctd.
00:18:19 Gun murders – drone strikes – meteorites
00:23:19 What constitutes an “outrageous rip-off”?
00:27:31 On originality
00:33:07 Guardian Gay Rights / Gun Laws graphic
00:37:53 On the value of reproduction and chains of inspiration
00:44:01 Stream graphs
00:49:01 Value of transparent documentation of process
00:53:13 Remix culture, github culture
00:54:48 Snow fall
01:01:47 A new language for citation in design?
01:09:36 Closing remarks
We have graphic editors Mike Bostock and Shan Carter in this dense and long episode. It’s great to finally have someone from NYT!
We talk about many practical and more philosophical aspects of publishing interactive visualization on the web. We also spend quite some time discussing about D3.js’s past, present and future.
(On a side note: apologies for starting a bit abruptly and for the weird noises. Enrico was desperately and unsuccessfully trying to find a quiet and calm spot at the CHI conference.)
Enrico & Mo.
P.S. Many thanks to all of you guys who sent us on Twitter questions for Mike and Shan.
00:00:12 Our guests today: New York Times graphics editors Mike Bostocks and Shan Carter
00:01:54 About the NYT graphics department
00:06:56 Map wrangling
00:08:47 QA, evaluation, fact checking,…
00:11:23 Twitter question: Post the data set along with the graphic?
00:15:51 Exploratory or explanatory?
00:19:56 User tracking, user feedback
00:25:53 Balance of familiarity vs. new visual vocabularies
00:29:52 Workflow, on the example of the 512 paths graphic
00:38:05 Hybrid workflows between automation and manual layout
00:45:49 History and philosophy
00:56:19 Value of examples
00:57:31 Community adoption
01:04:53 More d3 books or tutorials for advanced users?
01:08:15 Developer community
01:11:51 Future development
01:15:10 Enrico is back!
01:16:13 Is d3 complete?
01:18:52 When does Mike sleep?
01:19:45 Wrapping it up
We have two fantastic guests to talk about using visualization for the good. We actually decided to make it even bigger and provokingly titled it: can visualization save the world?
We have on stage: Kim Rees co-founder of Periscopic, a data visualization company guided by the motto: “do good with data” and Jake Porway, founder of Data Kind, an organization that brings together data scientists and social organizations.
We discuss about the challenges of working in this crazy world of big data opportunities and counterbalance this with risks and subtle potentially negative implications.
00:00:00 Intro, welcome to our guests Kim Rees (Periscopic) and Jake Porway (Datakind)
00:01:39 Can data visualization save the world?
00:05:38 Jake & Datakind
00:09:32 Visualization as a process
00:15:17 How do you pick projects to work on?
00:18:01 Periscopic’s U.S. gun deaths visualization
00:30:08 Awareness alone does not help – how you get people to action?
00:32:57 On process
00:40:12 Multiple truths in same data
00:42:53 Responsible authorship
00:45:19 Parallels between data visualization and “photo journalism”?
00:46:12 Responsible data and visualization authorship ctd.
00:50:03 Project votesmart
00:51:39 NYT graphics jobs report
00:53:15 Success stories?
01:05:33 Refuse to work for potentially unethic clients?
01:08:28 “The dark side of datakind”
01:09:06 Back to original question
01:13:18 Concerns in visualizing personal stories
01:24:59 Wrapping it up