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
In this episode we talk about maps and map technology. How it evolved and revolutionized the way we think about geography. We have Michal Migurski with us! He is former technology head at Stamen and creator of multiple successful visualizations libraries and tools like Modest Maps and Crimespotting.
00:03:06 Our guest: Mike Migurski
00:04:45 How did Mike get started with computers?
00:06:16 Raving in the 90s
00:07:02 The beginnings of Stamen
00:13:49 Oakland Crimespotting
00:14:58 A short history of online mapping
00:17:04 Google maps
00:20:19 Open Street Map
00:26:51 Oakland Crimespotting pt.2
00:32:42 Tools and frameworks – modest maps
00:46:17 How to make geo data accessible in a better way
00:49:56 Automatic labeling
00:51:39 @alignedleft: What is a map tile?
00:55:42 @janwillemtulp: Question on process and inspiration, future trend
00:58:07 @petersonGIS: time ratio data processing vs visualization
01:02:57 Wrapping it up
We have Santiago Ortiz with us today. Santiago has an impressive array of data visualization projects he has been pouring out during the last year and a very unique style. See for yourself in his portfolio website: http://moebio.com/. We talk about the Tapestry Conference, mathematics, the business of data visualization and much much more. Enjoy it!
00:00:01 Intro: our guest today: Santiago Ortiz (@moebio)
00:01:55 Tapestry conference
00:08:40 Santiago: how it all began: Flash, math and teaching
00:14:17 Freelance since 2012
00:17:12 Yay for self-inititated projects!
00:20:56 Knowledge visualization
00:25:11 “Santiago style”
00:26:36 Client work
00:31:18 Tools, frameworks, open source
00:40:52 On process
00:51:47 Non-information-based projects
00:55:23 The role of math
01:06:41 Regional differences in the data visualization scenes?
01:17:13 Wrapping it up
What can we say? One year has passed and it looks crazy we have been doing this thing for a whole year: 18 whole episodes. Thanks a lot everyone for your encouragements and numerous comments and suggestions. And big thanks to all the people who participated!
In this episode we review the whole set of posts and comment on them trying to see how they look like from a distance now that some time has passed.
If you have any suggestions on stuff you would like to see in DS in the next year LET US KNOW!
00:00:00 Happy Birthday Data Stories!
00:02:19 On naming episodes and the Andy effect
00:04:44 01: Animated Data Kitsch
00:06:54 02: Ranting about marathons, challenges and awards
00:09:45 03: Evaluation
00:15:11 04: Malofiej
00:17:27 05: Learning data visualization with Andy Kirk
00:21:22 06: Food
00:22:49 07: Color
00:23:25 08: Interview with Jeff Heer
00:24:51 09: Bridging academia and industry
00:25:41 10: Stefanie Posavec
00:26:49 11: emoto
00:27:29 12: Alberto Cairo
00:29:52 13: visweek
00:31:20 14: Google hangout episode
00:33:22 15: Robert Kosara
00:35:27 16: 2012 review
00:37:24 17: Data Sculptures
00:38:52 What’s up next
We invited a few experts in a Google Hangout to discuss what was big in 2012 and what will happen in 2013. We have Andrew Vande Moere from Infosthetics, Andy Kirk from Visualisingdata and Bryan Connor from The Why Axis.
00:01:22 Our guests: Andrew Vande Moere from http//infosthetics.com
00:02:07 Andy Kirk from visualisingdata.com
00:03:07 Bryan Connor from the Why Axis
00:03:51 What was big in 2012 and what is coming 2013
00:04:05 More education and training
00:05:05 Technical issues…
00:06:05 More general interest in learning data visualization
00:07:01 Mike Bostock and d3
00:07:55 Alberto Cairo’s online infographics course
00:09:06 Mike Bostock and d3 again
00:10:32 Integrated print <-> interactive workflows
00:14:58 Academic trends?
00:15:40 Visualization as a tool for communication
00:21:02 The human touch
00:22:39 Storytelling: people are actually doing it now
00:25:10 Woops – there he goes…
00:25:28 Tools for storytelling
00:26:30 So-called “network problems”
00:27:07 Snow Fall by NYT
00:31:49 More tools for storytelling and the return of “multimedia”
00:33:03 More case studies and behind the scenes reports
00:35:11 Less blogging in 2012?
00:42:46 Santiago Ortiz — @moebio
00:44:58 Real-time data visualization
00:49:28 Reaching wider audiences
00:50:14 Conferences, marathons, competitions
00:54:22 Simon Scarr
00:55:15 Wishes for 2013
01:01:05 Guest wishes for 2013
We got Robert Kosara on Data Stories for this episode. Robert is the editor of eagereyes.org, one of the most respected and well-known data visualization blogs in the Internet. He is known for his controversial and informative posts and his “academic” style (some people say ).
But Roberts, as he says in the show, wears many hats. He was a Professor of Computer Science at UNC Charlotte until recently when he surprisingly moved to Tableau after being tenured.
In the show we talk about his choice and many other things: vis research, blogging, Tableau, etc. See the episode breakdown below.
And, as usual, have fun!
Enrico & Moritz
00:00:00 Enrico and Moritz catching up
00:04:22 Today’s guest: Robert Kosara
00:05:23 eagereyes.org and blogging in general
00:08:14 Enrico’s blog
00:09:46 Robert’s research themes
00:11:35 Blur as a retinal variable?
00:13:13 Interdisciplinarity in infovis research
00:14:31 How Robert got started
00:19:04 Early years of eagereyes.org and abandoned plans for the site
00:21:59 “lines in the sand”
00:27:04 What will the future bring for eagereyes?
00:30:58 State of visualization blogging
00:33:16 Blogging and academic careers
00:36:17 Openness and sharing ideas
00:43:04 The real story! Robert’s move to Tableau
00:51:22 Researching: storytelling with data
00:55:40 Visualization in wider communication contexts and workflows
00:59:13 Tableau for Mac?
01:01:36 A few ideas for improvement
01:08:16 Future for word clouds as a final slide for powerpoint presentations?
01:10:14 Robert’s influences?
01:13:38 How much work was it to release Parallel Sets, and was it worth it?
01:16:13 Wrapping it up