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Portrait: Danielle Albers Szafir

Danielle Albers Szafir received the Best Paper award for her single-author paper, Modeling Color Difference for Visualization Design at InfoVis this year. She is assistant professor at University of Colorado Boulder and runs the CU VisuaLab there. Show More Summary

Statistical diversity in US newsrooms

If a news organization wants to talk about the world in a fair way, it needs points of view from a group of people who are representative of said world.… Tags: diversity, Google, news

Lop-sided precincts, a visual exploration

Kaiser Fung, founder of Junk Charts, a leading data visualization blog, and Principal Analytics Prep, a premier data analytics bootcamp, discusses and remakes a Washington Post chart showing lop-sided precincts in the 2016 U.S. Presidential elections.

Gyroscope to automatically track your health data

I’m surprised I’m just now hearing about Gyroscope. It’s an app that automatically tracks your health data and then generates reports, both digitally and in print format. An “OS for… Tags: app, health

IEEE VIS 2017: A SciVis Perspective

Since my (Robert)’s conference reports are almost entirely focused on InfoVis (and a bit of VAST), I have asked Noeska Smit, medical visualization professor and my collaborator in the Vis Potpourri postings, to write about VIS from the SciVis perspective. Everything below are Noeska’s words. It’s been a while since I wrote a conference report. […]

Map of Santa Rosa fires

Using both satellite images and ground surveys, The New York Times maps the damage due to the fires in Santa Rosa. Crazy. I live a couple of hours away from… Tags: fire, New York Times

The Evolution of a Scientific American Graphic: Pregnancy in Progress

When we return to a topic where the research has advanced, our visual explanations need to be updated accordingly -- Read more on

Dangers of CSV injection

George Mauer highlights how a hacker might access other people’s data by putting an equal sign in a CSV file, so that an import to Microsoft or Google Sheets runs… Tags: csv, security

IEEE VIS 2017: Machine Learning, Diversity, Parties

I've ignored the major new topic this year so far: machine learning. Another new thing this year, though way overdue, was that we finally started to talk about diversity. And then there were the parties. Machine Learning Machine learning made a big showing this year, though I managed to miss most of the relevant talks […]

US electricity sources map

This interactive map from CarbonBrief shows how America generates electricity. Each circle represents a power source, color represents type, and size represents output. See also a more edited version from… Tags: electricity

IEEE VIS 2017: Perception, Evaluation, Vision Science

Questions of how visualization is read and understood are a common topic in research, and this year was no exception. This part of my IEEE VIS 2017 report covers papers dealing with perceptual issues, the match between visualization and tasks, statistical reasoning, as well as a panel on vision science. Perception Data Visualization Saliency Model: […]

Darkness mapped in Puerto Rico

Three weeks in, much of Puerto Rico is still without power. Denise Lu and Chris Alcantara for The Washington Post map the lights at night, based on satellite composite data… Tags: electricity, Puerto Rico, Washington Post

Frequency trails chart explainer

Frequency trails, or currently better known as joyplots, is a visualization method to show multiple distributions at once. Taken individually, each distribution is shown as a density curve, and they… Tags: frequency trails, joyplot

IEEE VIS 2017: Word Clouds, Stories, Interaction

I usually stick to the InfoVis track at VIS, and that was also the case this time. The papers in this part of my report from VIS 2017 cover text, small visualizations like sparklines and glyphs, tools for showing story structure, and multi-device interaction with data. Word Clouds Tag or word clouds are second only […]

Let's not mix these polarized voters as the medians run away from one another

Long-time follower Daniel L. sent in a gem, by the Washington Post. This is a multi-part story about the polarization of American voters, nicely laid out, with superior analyses and some interesting graphics. Click here to see the entire article....

IEEE VIS 2017: Keynote and Capstone

Part 2 of my IEEE VIS 2017 report covers the keynote and capstone talks at the conference. They were not just at opposite ends of the conference, but also about as different as they can be in terms of content and delivery. Keynote: Jacqueline H. Chen, Analytics Inspired Visualization: A Holistic In-situ Scientific Workflow at […]

Math to fix gerrymandering, explained in comic

Gerrymandering doesn’t sound like an especially sexy topic, but it’s an important one to pay attention to. District lines are drawn in roundabout ways sometimes to favor a party. This… Tags: comic, gerrymandering

The best dataviz & infographics of the year: the Information is Beautiful Awards Longlist 2017

With more entries from more countries than ever before, it’s been a vintage year for our celebration of the world’s finest dataviz & infographics.   Visualized data is shining light on such a broad range of topics – everything from the American elections to craft beer, trolling and yoga – that we created a new category: People, Language & […]

IEEE VIS 2017: Best Papers and Other Awards

The IEEE VIS 2017 conference took place last week in Phoenix, AZ. I’m slower to write about it than in previous years, but to make up for that I’m not going in chronological order this time, but will break this report up in a more logical manner. This first part covers the opening, which included […]

Visualizing nonlinear stories

Many stories don’t follow a linear format. There are flashbacks, or multiple timelines run simultaneously. Story Curves is a research project that tries to visualize the back and forth. Story… Tags: movies, narrative, story, timelin...

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