025  |  Visualization on Mobile & Touch Devices w/ Dominikus Baur

Hi Everyone,

In this episode we talk about visualization on mobile and touch devices. How do you design visualization interfaces for these kinds of devices? How different is it to interact with your fingertips rather than with your mouse? Advantages, disadvantages, unexplored opportunities?

We discuss with Dominukus Baur, interaction designer and mobile data visualization specialist. You can see his work on his website/blog. Make sure to give a look to his talk at the OpenVis Conference: Data on Your FingerTips. He gives lots of useful tips!

Episode Chapters

00:00:00 Enrico and Mo go on vacations
00:02:28 Our guest: Dominikus Baur
00:04:06 Life logging and personal media
00:05:10 Accents
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
00:21:52 Multitouch
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!!


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  1. One of the more popular areas for mobile viz right now seems to be weather apps – there’s a slew of them out right now that have some particularly impressive design & take some interesting approaches to visualizing the weather.

    Yahoos lastest iOS weather app’s had a lot of attention b/c of the slick design & Flickr integration but there’s a couple that take a more viz-centric approach to the weather.

    Maybe you’ve seen them but if not, check them out – kind of an interesting area (& probably about as old, if not older, than mapping!)

    • Yahoo’s weather app: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/yahoo!-weather/id628677149?mt=8

    But these are really where it’s at:
    • Partly Cloudy: http://partlycloudy-app.com/
    • Weathertron: http://theweathertron.com/
    • 1Weather: http://1weatherapp.com/
    • Brisk: http://twosolid.com/brisk/
    (well, this one’s not out yet. but it looks promising!)

  2. Ben Hosken says:

    Great episode…with extra sexy-euro voices 😉

    One of things we talk with clients about is how tablets specifically are perfectly suited for sharing visualisations with your team/work mates. As per Harvard Business Review….it is very very rare that a visualisation lives in a vacuum and the ability to share visualisations and provoke a conversation is incredibly important and very very overlooked. Rather than calling someone to look over your shoulder you can discuss a viz you can hand them the tablet and discuss in person with hands. Very very very important for the future of data visualisation.

  3. Very very good point Ben! Sorry for my late reply. Context is often overlooked in vis bit it’s a crucial component. It reminds me of something I recently read in David Byrne’s Ho Music Works, where he goes for a long digression about how context shapes the way music (and art in general) is composed. And this happens, he argues, often on a very unconscious level.

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