A presentation on data visualization in general aimed at sort of technical audiences.
Clone or download
Fetching latest commit…
Cannot retrieve the latest commit at this time.
Type Name Latest commit message Commit time
Failed to load latest commit information.


Data Visualization Presentation

A presentation on data visualization in general aimed at sort of technical audiences.


This presentation will give an overview of what data visualization is along with tools, techniques, and resources for successful visualizations. We will go through some of the basic concepts of what data visualization is and what makes a visualization successful, look at real examples, and then go through tools and resources that will help build visualizations.

Alan Palazzolo is an interactive news developer for MinnPost, an online, non-profit newspaper focused on Minnesota, where he helps in building news applications as well as data visualization to enhance or accompany stories. You can see the work of the MinnPost data team at: http://minnpost.com/data

Just Notes for now

the remarkable mechanisms by which the senses understand the environment are all but identical with the operations described by the psychology of thinking. —Rudolf Arnheim, from Visual Thinking

“I see!” Her expression makes complete sense, because deep inside our minds, to see and to understand are intertwined processes. We understand because we see.

  • page xv Functional Art Albert Cairo

Inforgaphics is more presentation than exploration, Visualization is opposite

data viz is communication, not art

form vs function (both)

the relationship between visualization and art, which is similar to the linkage of journalism and literature. A journalist can borrow tools and techniques from literature, and be inspired by great fiction writing, but she will never allow her stories to become literature. That notion applies to visualization, which is, above all, a functional art.

  • page xxi Functional Art Albert Cairo

The first and main goal of any graphic and visualization is to be a tool for your eyes and brain to perceive what lies beyond their natural reach.

  • page 9-10 Functional Art Albert Cairo (the difference between a table of numbers and a graph)

Rise in visualization: cognitive thinking research, data, and tools

Information overload. Information anxiety. Information diet. Data vs knowledge.

DIKW Hierarchies

The art and science of shaping information products and experiences to support usability and findability;

  • page 15 Functional Art Albert Cairo

(Functional art vs fine art) The fact that an information graphic is designed to help us complete certain intellectual tasks is what distinguishes it from fine art. Rather than serving as a means for the artist to express her inner world and feelings, an infographic or visualization strives for objectivity, precision and functionality, as well as beauty. In short: The function constrains the form.

  • page 25 Functional Art Albert Cairo

Effective analytic designs entail turning thinking principles into seeing principles. So, if the thinking task is to understand causality, the task calls for a design principle: “Show causality.” If a thinking task is to answer a question and compare it with alternatives, the design principle is: “Show comparisons.” The point is that analytical designs are not to be decided on their convenience to the user or necessarily their readability or what psychologists or decorators think about them; rather, design architectures should be decided on how the architecture assists analytical thinking about evidence. 6 6 Mark Zachary and Charlotte Thralls, “An Interview with Edward Tufte,” Technical Communication Quarterly, 2004, 13(4), 447-462. Accessed Feb. 11, 2012 at http://www.edwardtufte.com/tufte/ s15427625tcq1304_5.pdf.