012  |  Alberto Cairo and "The Functional Art"

Hi, we have Alberto Cairo on the show for Episode #12! If you don’t know who Alberto is, well… it’s your fault! Check his web site first. He has a fantastic book out on Infographics and Visualization called “The Functional Art,” which can directly go in your shelf between the Tuftes and the Fews.

We talk about the book and many many other things. Alberto is so talkative and deep that we could have recorded for another 3 or 4 hours. Lots, lots of fun! We loved it.

Episode breakdown:

00:00:00 Data Stories Number Many
00:03:29 Special guest today: Alberto Cairo
00:05:30 Background: Journalism and Teaching
00:13:01 Book: The functional art
00:19:25 Low-tech visualization
00:23:38 Differences between data visualization and information graphics / data journalism
00:31:51 How to work under practical constraints in a newsroom
00:39:11 International news graphics scene
00:42:37 Experimentalism vs conservatism
00:46:52 Connect print and online
00:48:17 Flash! (ah, the good times)
00:49:40 Back to “The Functional Art”
00:53:21 The visualization wheel
00:57:59 Use of multiple representations
01:04:02 Power of annotations
01:05:44 Wrapping it up


  1. Hi guys, great episode!
    You really did a great conversation about some principles, probably I’ll buy Alberto’s book in the future.
    Great job!

  2. Andrew Saul says:

    I really enjoyed the episode guys. I get so much out of your discussions with your guests and with each other. Please don’t try to make your episodes shorter. The reason I like them so much is you take the time to talk at length about a topic and so I get a much deeper understanding of it.
    Whilst it’s nice to be entertained to be entertained and informed is so much more useful for everyone and you cannot do that quickly.

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