Vintage InfoPorn No.1 My conceit, when I started making infographics, was simple. I believed this was a *new way* of expressing and visualizing information, a thoroughly modern and zeitgeisty fusion of data and design. Oh you muppet David… Sites for Autistic Support Teachers! Sites for Autistic Support Teachers www.cindysautisticsupport.com If you have found this website helpful and would like to donate to help with the monthly fee of the server, please click the button below. Thank you! I LOVE Model Me Kids videos and so do my students!
Intermental Is tech creating new types of mental and emotional disorders? An increasing number of stories about internet addiction and the effect of constant device use on our minds, lives and relationships. From a culture of distraction and boot-camps for addicted teens to the “electronic apocalypse”. Recently, I finished a long, two-year stretch at a computer creating my book.
calming the senses with weighted blankets « Craft Nectar Note from Weeks: Both my husband and daughter are restless sorts. When our daughter was little and we went to a restaurant, Bill would take her out to run up and down the sidewalk while I paid the bill so she wouldn’t start squirming at the table. Those kids who kick the back of your seat on planes have the same issue. Therapists refer to them as “sensory seeking.” One therapist explained to me that the way I would feel if I sat in a car for ten hours straight is how she feels after sitting for one hour.
Little boxes Foto credit Would the field of data vis benefit from a clear line between art and design, as Lisa C. Rost suggests (see also the follow-up post)? This debate has been around for a while (see e.g. Lev Manovich’s Info Aesthetics, The Manifesto debate, the Cargo Cult debate, Jorge Camoe’s attempts, but also helpful papers like “The Role of Design in Information Visualization“ etc) and of course, there is a literally a century of discourse on art and design in other fields as well.
Data is the Latest Medium for Creating Beautiful, Meaningful Art Although much of their artwork looks random, that’s far from reality. A growing number of “data artists” are creating conceptual work using information collected by personal data trackers, mobile apps, scientific experiments and even hand written notes. Translating that data using creative metrics and physical mediums, their works reveal patterns hidden in nature and ourselves, often revealing it through the lens of colorful sculptures or images. Some artists, like Laurie Frick, envision a world transformed and beautified by our wealth of data. Others see it as an interpretive tool used to see things previously hidden to our senses. Let’s look at 5 examples from artists who are on the forefront of this new art trend.
Learning to See: Visual Inspirations and Data Visualization — Accurat studio As Brainpickings points out, some interesting patterns emerge from this dense piece: “Japan, held as a paragon of technological innovation, actually attracts very few foreign researchers. Denmark, despite a GDP budget significantly larger, doesn’t do too much better than countries like Belgium, France and Germany. Canada, Australia, the United States, and Switzerland attract — and export — the greatest number of scientists.” Beautiful Reasons — Accurat studio To be a designer you have to find new languages, new ways of entertaining people; and working with data you also have to make visuals that can become magnetic to people that are not familiar with data practices. We believe that, sometimes, the act of loading an analytical representation with emotional investment produces attention rather than distraction, creates worlds that are evocative and nameless at the same time, able to inspire sensations, as long as we always respect the values in the data and we don’t manipulate the information. To this regard, we can define successful designs as the ones able to balance convention (i.e. familiar forms our minds are already familiar with) and novelty: new features that can engage and delight people in the hope they will stick around our visualizations a bit longer, and in the hope we can help the conversations in our fields moving forward.
Sketching with Data Opens the Mind’s Eye — Accurat studio As Heller observes in the introduction “Making enticingly accurate infographics requires more than a computer drafting program or cut-and-paste template, the art of information display is every bit as artful as any other type of design or illustration, with the notable exception that it must tell a factual or linear story”. The fascination for what lies behind any creative process is no new thing, and the book is a terrific anthology of beautiful examples from international artists: the finished works of the are presented alongside with the designers’ working sketches; but when does exactly drawing become design? What does sketching do to a designer’s mind and how does it affect the process of working with data? I am an information design myself. I have been trained as an architect, but soon after my graduation I started working with information in a visual way. “How about the real data?
Data Visualization With Knoema Anyone who’s had to deal with large amounts of data will be well aware that sometimes a visual can be extremely helpful in understanding that data. This map of states party to the Convention on the Rights of the Child that I tweeted out last November is a case in point: Even if I were particularly skilled at creating visualizations, I might not always have the time available to do so, or to locate the data I need. Having access to a service that already has the necessary data and that can use that data to create useful visualizations with just a few mouse clicks is a great thing. Knoema is just such a service.
Visualization as Process, Not Output “Please make me a visualization.” I get a lot of emails that say this or some variation of it. They tend to make me think of other requests that could be made in the same form, like: “Please make me a roast beef sandwich.” Or: “Please make me a scale model of the Eiffel Tower.”
The Trials and Tribulations of Data Visualization for Good “I love big data. It’s got such potential for storytelling.” At DataKind, we hear some version of this narrative every week. 39 studies about human perception in 30 minutes bars and pies for proportions Much is said about the relative merits of bars and circles for showing proportions. All five of these studies legitimize the use of pie charts when conveying proportions and some even show their superiority over bar charts. I did not encounter any studies that said we should not use pie charts for showing proportions in all cases. Eells (7) was among the first to publish a paper on this topic in 1926. In his time, pie charts were ridiculed much as they are today for their assumed perceptual inadequacies.
The Power of Looking Closely At least in the US, it’s the start of a long holiday weekend, and elsewhere there are things like the Euros and Brexit to distract people from the internet, alas. I wanted to share this video by Amy Herman on “Visual Intelligence,” based on her book Visual Intelligence: Sharpen Your Perception, Change Your Life, which in turn was based on a project she used to do at the Frick Collection while she was training medical students how to look at art. The reason I like it is that the single favorite aspect of my son’s education to this point (he starts high school in the fall) is exactly what Herman describes: During his first two years of elementary school, his classmates would sit and look at works of art, describe objectively what they see, and then reason from what they saw. Even though the program was discontinued (public schools, budget cuts, “that’s not on the Common Core”) it was massively influential on him, especially since he gets dragged to museums everywhere.