“Dear Data” with Giorgia Lupi and Stefanie Posavec (DS#64)


Hey folks,

it’s time for another project centric episode, and we finally talk about one of our favorite projects of the year — “Dear Data”  by the most fabulous tag team of data illustrators around: Giorgia Lupi and Stefanie Posavec.



Their year-long project is about how “two women who switched continents get to know each other through the data they draw and send across the pond” and consists of 104 hand–drawn postcards all of which document one week of their lives. How much they cursed, laughed, read, smiled at strangers, … — all of this is documented in inventive, charming and very analogue ways.

Learn all about the project — how they started it, what they learned, and how it will live on — in the episode.

Links mentioned:

Datastories is brought to you by Qlik, who allow you to explore the hidden relationships within your data that lead to meaningful insights. Check out this fun experiment on the qlik blog: “What Chart are You?”. And, make sure to try out Qlik Sense, which you can download for free at www.qlik.de/datastories.

IEEE VIS’15 Recap with Robert Kosara and Johanna Fulda (DS #63)


In our latest episode, Enrico recaps the IEEE VIS’15 conference with Robert Kosara and Johanna Fulda, and we compare notes about conference projects and papers. Find the transcript here, and check out our long list of selected projects below with plenty of links and video previews!

Continue reading

Text Visualization: Past, Present and Future with Chris Collins (DS#62)

We have Assistant Professor Chris Collins from University of Ontario Institute of Technology on the show to talk about text visualization. Chris explains what Text Vis is, provides examples form his and others’ work, explains how to get started (tools and knowledge) and looks into the future of the field (challenges and opportunities).

And here’s a really cool new thing — we have a transcript of the whole show! Browse the text, search for quotes and chapters, and maybe even… visualize it? Let us know if it’s useful!

Enjoy the show!


This episode is sponsored by Qlik who allows you to explore hidden relationships within data that lead to insights. Check out the virtual event on Nov 18: Are you seeing the whole story that lives within your data? You can download Qlik Sense for free at: www.qlik.de/datastories.


Visualizing Your “Google Search History” with Lisa Charlotte Rost (DS#61)

Hey, before we start, we ask you a favor: rate us on iTunes! This has a huge impact on how the show is ranked. To rate us on iTunes follow this link and then select “view in iTunes” (you need to have iTunes installed) and then click on “Ratings & Reviews”. You can also rate us directly from your Apple podcast player if you have one. Thanks!!!

Here we go with a new project episode! This time we talk with Lisa Charlotte Rost about her project “My Google Search History“.

Lisa is a visualization designer based in Berlin and the project is about how she collected and visualized her google search history to look into her personal data.

In the episode we discussed how she came up with the idea and all the steps she followed to realize it.

She has also a nice page on github with code that you can reuse to do the same thing with your own data!

Here is a set of pictures from her project:

This episode is sponsored by Qlik who allows you to explore hidden relationships within data that lead to insights. Check out the new blog post on the qlik blog called: “The role of multiple devices in our workspaces” by Donald Farmer. And, there is a big Qlik Sense Roadshow with over 100 events in Europe. You can download Qlik Sense for free at: www.qlik.de/datastories.


Upcoming DS Events and Some of Our Recent Projects (DS#60)

Hey folks, we are back! We really hope you had a good summer.

We start the new season with an “internal” episode. We give numerous updates on Data Stories. Things we have changed recently, future ideas and two great events to get in touch with us!

  1. The Visualized conference, taking place in New York Oct 7-10, 2015, is going to host a Data Stories Meetup on Oct 7, 2015. If you live in NYC or happen to be around please drop by! We’d love to meet and talk with you.
  2. We will also give an Ask Me Anything on Reddit on November 3. This is a unique opportunity to ask us questions live and have a great chat together.

In the show we also talk about some of our recent projects.

Moritz talks about False Positive, an art project on data, privacy and identity. He also talks about the new Inclusive Growth Report from the World Economic Forum, for which he designed the graphics and website together with Stefanie Posavec and 9elements.

Enrico talks about the RevEx tool and his collaboration with ProPublica for the analysis of millions of medical Yelp reviews, his work with Human Rights experts and a recently published paper on visualization design with climate scientists.

This episode is sponsored by Qlik who allows you to explore hidden relationships within data that lead to insights. Read Patrik Lundblad’s blog posts on the three pillars of data visualization(1,2,3). You can download Qlik Sense for free at: www.qlik.de/datastories.


Behind the Scenes of “What’s Really Warming The World?” with the Bloomberg Team (DS#59)

Screen Shot 2015-08-20 at 1.17.38 PM

Different people, working for different institutions, in different countries, at different times, all come up with the same answer …

– Eric Roston, Bloomberg (talking about global warming)

Hi folks! We have Blacki Migliozzi and Eric Roston from Bloomberg on the show to talk about their recent data graphic piece on climate change called “What’s Really Warming The World?“.

The graphics shows, through a “scrollytelling”, what factors may influence the world’s temperature according to well established climate models and it guides your through a series of questions and visuals to see with your eyes what does correlate (spoiler: carbon emissions) and what does not.

On the show we talk about how the Bloomberg team came up with this piece, their interaction with the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS) scientists who developed the model, and the many challenges of translating important scientific knowledge into more digestible, but not simplistic, articles everyone can read.

We also talk about how for this graphic they took inspiration from the children book “Where’s Spot?” (which is a nice narrative technique for vis!) and all the delicate design decisions they had to make.

… And don’t miss the moment when Eric drops the huge IPCC (International Panel on Climate Change) report book to give a sense of how big it is!

Enjoy the show!

This episode is sponsored by Qlik who allows you to explore hidden relationships within data that lead to insights. Qlik was named a Top 10 Innovative Growth Company by Forbes, and they published an interesting blog post analyzing the data from the ranking. Check it out! Qlik Sense allows you to create personalized visualizations and dynamic dashboards. You can download it for free at: www.qlik.de/datastories.


Data Stories #58: Data Installations w/ Domestic Data Streamers


I believe we are bored from being 8 to 10 hours everyday in front of the screen, so when we go out from the screen the real life happens and things get more and more interesting

– Dani Llugany Pearson

Hey everyone, starting from this episode we will add images/photos of projects and ideas discussed on the show so that you no longer have to guess what we are talking about! Try this one below … if you click on it you’ll get high-res pictures. Let us know if you like it!

Hi folks,

We have Dani Llugany Pearson from Domestic Data Streamers to talk about the studio and their amazing participatory data installations.

You really need to see examples of what they do! Go to http://domesticstreamers.com/ and take a look at their projects.

In Data Strings they ask people to add their own thread to a physical parallel coordinates. In Life Line they use a grid of 800 balloons to show the point between one’s real age and the age at which one would like to die. In Golden Age they use a grid to let people mark with a log what is their age and what they believe is the best age in people’s life.

On the show we talk about how they started and describe the process behind some of the projects.

Enjoy the show!

This episode is sponsored by Qlik who allows you to explore hidden relationships within data that lead to insights. Qlik Sense allows you to create personalized visualizations and dynamic dashboards. You can download it for free at: www.qlik.de/datastories.


Data Stories #57: Visualizing Human Development w/ Max Roser

max-roserWe have economist Max Roser from University of Oxford to talk about his Our World in Data project where he visualizes the social, economic, and environmental history of humanity up to the present day.

Our World in Data is a remarkable project which Max started on his own little by little in the spare time and evolved into a full web site with plenty of interesting data, presentations and visualizations to to better understand humanity.

The nicest thing about it is that it provides a quite positive picture of the world and about in how many ways we are improving our conditions. Go to the website (http://ourworldindata.org/) and take a look at War and Violence, Poverty, Global Heath, Etc.

On the show we talk about how Max started and the process behind finding a topic, collecting and curating the data and producing these nice visuals people can easily understand. We also talk about human biases, persuasion, and how Max learned to build web sites and visualizations.

Enjoy the show!

This episode is sponsored by Visualizing Well-Being, the Wikiprogress Data Visualization Contest 2015. Enter the contest to win a trip to Mexico! To find out more, visit the Wikiprogress website (www.wikiprogress.org) or the facebook page or follow @wikiprogress on twitter.


Leave A Message To Say Happy Birthday To Data Stories!

Hi everyone, we just marked our third birthday and, coincidentally, we are also going to mark our 50th episode! It’s been such a great journey for everyone.

For our 50th episode we’d like to collect messages from our listeners. We’ll select the funniest ones. So it’s up to you to make us laugh! :)

Please state your name in the message and let us know about you Data Stories listening habits (some people listen to us in some very weird conditions).

To leave a message you can:

  1. Call our Google Voice number (347) 881-3740 and leave a voice mail message (let it ring until the voicemail starts).
  2. Record a snipped from your computer and send it to us as a dropbox link (or similar solutions) to: mail@datastori.es.
  3. You can always send us an email to mail@datastori.es and we will read it for you.

Hurry up! That’s going to be fun!

Data Stories #26: Visualization Beyond the Desktop w/ Petra Isenberg

Hi Folks!

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!

Take care,
Enrico & Mo.


  • 00:00 Back from summer break
  • 02:41 Our guest today: Petra Isenberg
  • 05:59 Moving beyond the desktop
  • 11:55 New challenges in collaborative settings
  • 22:25 Interactions with very large screens
  • 38:14 Practical use and how to get started
  • 48:53 More resources

Links and papers:

Resource list from Petra

Research links:

Technology links:

Software frameworks/libraries for developing vis on surfaces:

  • Most Pixels Ever (Processing for very large wall displays – I forgot to mention this one during the podcast)
  • kivy (Python framework for developing multi-touch applications)
  • libavg (maintained by Ulrich von Zadow who has worked on several visualization + interactive surface installations)
  • ZVTM (Java toolkit for developing ZUIs, includes possibilities to run visualizations on a cluster)
  • Microsoft Surface SDK
  • (for mobile check out iOS and Android SDKs)