Visualizing Christmas & Visual Storytelling

Happy Thanksgiving!

I hope everyone enjoyed their tryptophan naps after a healthy Thanksgiving dinner :)

We are happy to announce we will be hosting an exciting new speaker in Robert Kosara. Robert publishes regularly, and is a researcher for Tableau, and maintains close ties with the Computer Science division at The University of North Carolina at Charlotte; Find more on his website eagereyes.org. In his own words:

"Information visualization is a very applied field that prides itself on its useful real-world applications. At the same time, it is missing a culture of reflection that would allow us to distill deeper knowledge from individual systems. Such knowledge would be easier to transfer between systems and also provide a stronger foundation for the field."

We are also happy to present the work of our DVDC members who've taken time to gather data about the holidays and build a series of interesting and funny data visualizations.

Agenda:
• 6:30pm - Doors open, networking
• 7:00pm - Introductions
• 7:15pm - PART 1: Holiday Visualizations
• 7:45pm - PART 2: Visual Storytelling
• 8:45pm - Data Drinks!

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  • Sean Moore G.

    Watch the event video here: http://bit.ly/VizXmasStry

    February 13, 2014

  • nahumg

    The Logo!
    Let me explain my remark about the new logo in the beginning of Monday's event. Overall impression: stark & pointy. Unpleasant. This could be a result of the colors (hues & low brightness) used (too much one hue) combined with the sharp edges that could evoke unpleasant feelings. The shape is not symmetrical and it looks physically unstable (it stands on a sharp edge and the dark hue makes it look heavy). It does not mean that none of these elements could be used in the design, but here we have too many of them. 1/2

    December 11, 2013

    • nahumg

      The Logo! (continued)
      DC could be represented by a symbol other than a map shadow, e.g., the Capitol, Washington Monument, or just the letters DC and the whole logo could be vastly simplified. As Sean mentioned, somebody didn’t like the font. I agree. From a design point of view, the font used does not look too sophisticated on that background and, BTW, even a simple font could look good.

      An alternative simple possibility is just the letters VizDC (using a nice font - hopefully one that looks playful and friendly) with maybe an eye hovering over the letters. And, very important: please let an artist/designer produce the final product.

      Suggestions?
      2/2

      December 11, 2013

  • Rob S.

    Fun Xmas visualizations, great audience participation, and, of course, awesome presentation and Q&A by Robert Kosara et al

    1 · December 10, 2013

    • Evelyn

      Hi Rob, not sure if you were the one I talked to after Robert's presentation. I was able to find flowingdata.com and Nathan Yau. Thanks again for sharing your data expertise & looking forward to seeing you at the next meetup!

      December 10, 2013

    • Rob S.

      Hi Evelyn! It was nice meeting you. I'm sure you'll find Nathan's blog and books very useful. See you around.

      December 11, 2013

  • John T.

    I want to check out the books that Kosara recommended, but I didn't write down the info. Did anyone else get it?

    December 10, 2013

    • Robert G.

      The two books were The Functional Art by Alberto Cairo, and Design for Information by Isabel Meirelles.

      December 10, 2013

    • nahumg

      Books mentioned by Kosara:
      Through the Language Glass: Why the World Looks Different in Other Languages eBook: Guy Deutscher: Kindle Store http://bit.ly/1gX7hbe­

      The Vision Revolution: How the Latest Research Overturns Everything We Thought We Knew About Human Vision eBook: Mark Changiz http://bit.ly/1gX7wTI­

      The Functional Art: An introduction to information graphics and visualization (Voices That Matter)-Alberto Cairo: http://bit.ly/1gX7KKH­

      Design for Information: An Introduction to the Histories, Theories, and Best Practices Behind Effective Information Visualizations: Isabel Meirelles http://bit.ly/1iTX3gs­

      1 · December 10, 2013

  • nahumg

    I liked Robert Kosara's presentation yesterday especially all of the good visualization and perception examples. IMHO, this community needs more presentations like that. I thought though that dropping the words of "story" and "storytelling" from his presentation might have made his presentation even better.

    1 · December 10, 2013

  • nahumg

    The situation in visualization today is similar to the one that existed in the initial days of the cinema. In the beginning, techies produces film clips that demonstrated the technical capabilities of this medium. Only when the artists and designers came in, this medium started to change towards what it is today.

    In the beginning days of the movies, people had a camera fixed in place filming what a person in a theater audience would see. Then, they "found out" that a camera could move and the scene could change place. They also discovered transitions and other storytelling elements that could affect the audience. Many of the visualizations today, still use the screen like it is a piece of paper (in spite of having a traditional animation once in a while).

    December 10, 2013

  • nahumg

    Of course, using a number of modalities to present data/information adds more possibilities. It could also add the challenge of how you orchestrate the various modalities to form a convincing presentation or story. We need to realize that technology is not above all especially when we interact with people. In that regard, in Hans Rosling's presentation ( http://bit.ly/19fj5nF­ ), the visualization (that is excellent) is not the only factor in making his presentation so great. It is his initial story that is both informative and humorous, gestures, empathy, and tone of voice that are a big part of the whole presentation. I would think that one of the greatest challenges of the visualization community is to branch out to these other areas besides technology. It is not easy and could not be generally achieved by a few talks. It is usually a long transformation.

    1 · December 10, 2013

  • Jason P.

    I really enjoyed the presentations and conversation.
    For those who were interested in Jonah Sachs talking about story telling, see http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RPKzF2tFgfs
    I really appreciate the careful research that Robert Kosara is conducting, and I really liked the presentation, but I was puzzled why he seeks a 'perfect visual story.'
    I think, for example, of the State of the Union address. A diverse audience, from Supreme Court justices in the front row to service-people watching from a tent in Afghanistan. Obama presents a story rich anecdotes, jokes, policy rationales, photographs, keywords, and, yes, data visualizations. A tapestry.
    In my experience, the best (most perfect?) stories are exactly such multi-media, multi-texture narratives. Data visualizations can provide one useful type of thread, but trying to weave an entire story with just one type of thread would seem likely to produce forgettable broadcloth, not memorable tapestry…

    3 · December 10, 2013

    • nahumg

      I tend to agree with Jason. It is difficult (but not impossible though) to tell a good story using one modality. Even a story told verbally contains other modalities besides the words, i.e., the tone of the teller's voice, the energy, gestures, emotions expressed (e.g., empathy), and other non-verbal modalities. These modalities are also important in presenting visualization results whether done live in front of an audience or whether it is done on video. a good example is Hans Rosling: The best stats you've ever seen http://bit.ly/19fj5nF­

      1 · December 10, 2013

  • Nevin H.

    Highly amusing pre-talk and interesting storytelling discussion as well, thanks.

    December 10, 2013

  • Jason H.

    presentations were hard to see because of the light colors used in slide decks.

    December 10, 2013

  • Regina N.

    I love the idea of having more themed, member-submitted, whimsical data visualizations. And Robert Kosara was awesome. Thanks for a fun session.

    1 · December 10, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    I had to leave a little early, but the keynote was great. I love hearing about the psychology of perception. Will the video be posted soon?

    December 10, 2013

  • Evelyn

    Very informative session. Would love to see a longer version of the keynote.

    December 9, 2013

  • Robert G.

    Great talk from Robert Kosara.

    1 · December 9, 2013

  • Jason P.

    Not clear when, exactly, in the agenda that Robert will be speaking. Any chance this could be clarified...?

    December 9, 2013

  • Brad S.

    SEE THE 25 MOST BEAUTIFUL DATA VISUALIZATIONS OF 2013

    http://bit.ly/1bpR6SP

    1 · December 7, 2013

  • lee de c.

    this abstract is vague...

    1 · December 4, 2013

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