Really Old Data Visualisation Book

If you are into this sort of thing, Microsoft and the Internet Archive have digitised a copy of the 1919 epic Graphic Methods for Presenting Facts by Willard C. Brinton. While not one of the original seminal works, it still shows that the thinking that goes into basic information display is a lot older than we generally assume. And it has some very cool illustrations, which today would get you a post on viz.wtf.

War, slightly more wasteful than coffee

Continue reading “Really Old Data Visualisation Book”

The Wedding Photographer Problem

Jason posted yet another awesome edition of the Naked Data newsletter (which you should all definitely be reading). In this particular issue (#75) there is article entitled: Automatically generate beautiful visualisations from your data. Although there is a lot of snark in that title, the author is basically saying that good data visualisation is difficult and requires someone with training and experience if you want a decent end product. Continue reading “The Wedding Photographer Problem”

The Infographic Awakens

Since we are still in the grips of Star Wars frenzy (and the various problems in the world that need solving will still be there in tomorrow), Bloomberg created an infographic showing the use of the Force across all 7 Star Wars films. I like the adherence to the colour scheme and, since the data doesn’t actually matter, this if form over function that works well.

Colour Palettes for Data Visualizations

When creating a data visualisation, one the worst ways to encode the differences between values is to use changes in colour. Whether going from light to dark or changing between two colours, our brains are not particularly good at determining how big the difference is and for small differences, we may not notice it at all. Continue reading “Colour Palettes for Data Visualizations”

Isochronic World Map

I love old timey world maps. Cartographers have understood the science of data visualisation for a long time and some of these old hand drawn maps are truly incredible works of art. This map shows the average travel time (in days) from central London to another part of the world. 10-20 days to get from London to South Africa. Its the journey, not the destination man! Plus there was probably more leg room. Thanks to @BrianPinnock for the original link.

A Timeline of When the World Ended

A recent Naked Data newsletter pointed me to this article on wikipedia which gives a list of when the world was predicted to end throughout recorded history. Its a timeline of when the world was supposed to end, who claimed it would and how/why. It is wikipedia, so its as accurate and complete as wikipedia can be. I figured it would be a nice thing to see on an actual timeline, so here we have it. Continue reading “A Timeline of When the World Ended”

A really bad pie chart

Pie charts are often maligned by the data viz community. Sometimes for good reason and sometimes to just to feel better by ridiculing those that don’t know you are not supposed to use pie charts. However there are those moments where something goes truly wrong. This has to be shared to prevent it happening again. Lets this act as a warning as to what can go wrong when you use PowerPoint without a licence. Continue reading “A really bad pie chart”