Articles & research papers

Information Visualization

Information Visualization for Knowledge Discovery

Ben Schneiderman from the University of Maryland, gave a fascinating talk in Cambridge on 5th March 2009 about the topic of “Information Visualization for Knowledge Discovery. Ben concluded his talk with three key points for information visualization to guide knowledge discovery:

  1. Rank-by-Feature Framework, i.e. rank by what people want to know
  2. Decomposition of complex problems into multiple simpler problems
  3. Ranking guides discovery. It is important to provide systematic approaches for discovery

Information Visualization for Knowledge Discovery


The Data Journalism Handbook

The data journalism handbook is a free, open source reference book for anyone interested in the emerging field of data journalism.

It was born at a 48 hour workshop at MozFest 2011 in London. It subsequently spilled over into an international, collaborative effort involving dozens of data journalism’s leading advocates and best practitioners – including from the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, the BBC, the Chicago Tribune, Deutsche Welle, the Guardian, the Financial Times, Helsingin Sanomat, La Nacion, the New York Times, ProPublica, the Washington Post, the Texas Tribune, Verdens Gang, Wales Online, Zeit Online and many others.

You can buy the book or use the free web version online.

The Data Journalism Handbook.

That’s not all, here’s a list of great high quality content free online UX books I have personally picked and recommend you to go through: Free User Experience books (Interaction design, HCI, web accessibility & Information Architecture)

Who Made That Pie Chart

William Playfair — a businessman, engineer and economics writer from Scotland — created the first known pie chart in 1801. Playfair’s graphic innovations went beyond the pie chart: he also invented the bar graph. Academics conduct studies about which Playfair invention performs better. Excel and PowerPoint may abound with pie charts, but not everyone is a fan.

The data-visualization pioneer Edward Tufte wrote that “pie charts should never be used.” Dan Boyarski, a professor at Carnegie Mellon University, encourages his students to expand their horizons. He also concedes, however, that in some cases, like illustrating a budget, the pie chart is fine. “We know what it stands for, so we immediately relate to it,” Boyarski said. “That’s the advantage of the tried and true.”

Abhay’s note: The article is short and interesting. While it tells you about the origins of the pie chart, its the comments that offer better reasons on why or why not and when to use a pie chart.

Who Made That Pie Chart

Sketchnote Army- a Sketchnotes Showcase

Sketchnote Army is dedicated to finding and showcasing sketchnotes and sketchnoters from around the world- from events, conferences, workshops or wherever sketchnotes are captured or created. If you want your sketchnotes to be featured there, you can send your sketchnotes URL and info to the webmaster.

Sketchnote Army

The Space of Design

Models of the process of design are relatively common. Each describes a sequence of steps required to design something—or at least the steps that designers report or recommend taking. Models of the process of design are common because designers often need to explain what they do (or want to do) so that clients, colleagues, and students can understand.

Less common are models of the domain of design—models describing the scope or nature of practice, research, or teaching. Such models may be useful for locating individual processes, projects, or approaches and comparing them to others. Such models also help clients, colleagues, and students understand alternatives and agree on where they are (or want to be) within a space of possibilities.

Typically models of a domain are of three types:

  1. Timelines
    • Lists of events from the domain’s history
    • Links between events suggesting influences
  2. Taxonomies
    • Lists of sub-domains
    • Trees branching into categories and sub-categories and so on
  3. Spaces
    • Venn diagrams indicating overlapping categories
    • Matrices defining the dimensions of a space of possibilities or area of potential

The Space of Design

L+E Visual Thinking Archive

Over 80 visuals has that can be used for presentations, slideshows and blogs posts as long as proper attribution is provided.

L+E Visual Thinking Archive

Many Eyes- For shared visualization and discovery

The heart of ‘Many Eyes’ is a collection of data visualizations.

On Many Eyes you can:

  1. View and discuss visualizations
  2. View and discuss data sets
  3. Create visualizations from existing data sets

If you register, you can also:

  1. Rate data sets and visualizations
  2. Upload your own data
  3. Create and participate in topic hubs
  4. Select items to watch
  5. Track your contributions, watchlist, and topic hubs
  6. See comments that others have written to you

Many Eyes

Info Vis Wiki

The InfoVis:Wiki project is intended to provide a community platform and forum integrating recent developments and news on all areas and aspects of Information Visualization.
Using editable–by–anyone Wiki technology turned out to be the only way of keeping the presented information up to date and knowledge exchange vivid.

Info Vis Wiki- the information visualization community platform