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Data Visualization/Infogr­aphics Study Group

I'd like to have a group where we meet 1-2x/month and, at each 1 - 1.5 hour session, do several activities like these:

1) talk about articles, blogs, books, etc. assigned from the previous meeting
2) have a set of 3-5 data vis /infographic examples to deconstruct together
3) present anything we're working on for that needs feedback
4) take a deep dive into an aspect of a data vis tool
5) possibly team up to do a data vis challenge
6) create a challenge for everyone in the study group to try doing
7) look for and do exercises in data visualization/infographics
8) guest teacher on a topic we'd like to learn about
9) take turns doing a short presentation on the kind of data we each work with and the challenges of creating data vis/infographics for it
8) anything else the group would like to do

Not necessarily all of these at each meeting :-) but you get the idea - the goal is to regularly study, learn and practice different aspects of data vis and develop better visual literacy. With that in mind, we'll decide at the end of each meeting, what our assignment is for the next time we get together.

Here's your assignment for our first meetup: Email me an infographic or data visualisation(or a link to one) that you find brilliant or inherently flawed. Be prepared to describe why you think it's brilliant/flawed. We'll look at these together and practice the type of deconstruction that Andy Kirk suggested.

Let me know if you'd like to help coordinate the study group or lead any activities.

Looking forward to seeing you on the 29th!


Our building is in the International District, on the block south of Jackson street, in a brick/glass office complex that sits between 4th Ave. S and 5th Ave. S.

Parking: Free on-street parking after 6:00 PM; usually plenty of spaces on 5th, 6th and the streets that connect them.
Bus/Bus Tunnel: Get off at the International District stop
Street Bus: Get off at Jackson and 5th S.

The building: Find the Starbucks; 605 5th Ave S. is the building that's directly south. Come to the main door, someone will be there until 6:45 to let you in and keycard your elevator for the 4th floor.

Fyi - There's plenty of coffee, tea, hot chocolate, cold soda and flavored sparkling water in our kitchen but no corporate funds (ye)t so feel free to bring munchies to share or even have dinner in the ID before we start.

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  • Ben J.

    Hi all! Great meeting everyone yesterday. Looking forward to future meetings!

    For fun, here is a fully interactive version of the "Fast and Green" dashboard that Chris, David and I made last night:


    1 · January 30, 2013

    • A former member
      A former member

      I was just joking about it not being green. I recently did a lot of female and male comparisons. I used orange and green because they were gender neutral colors. Your visualization is very well organized, and it's definitively something I would use. I shy away from using red because I think red is a difficult color to use properly. I don't know if Laura has an opinion about this..........

      January 31, 2013

    • A former member
      A former member

      Oops I meant Leah, not Laura.

      January 31, 2013

  • David P.

    While I'm thinking about it, here's one of the more impressive interactive infographics / apps I've ever seen. I keep coming back to it. It appears to be a Flash app, whatever the magic is or where it lives (I know 0.01% about Flash). Go to and type in a few characters from your name. Then guess why the incidence of your name is in a common or uncommon category.

    January 30, 2013

    • Michael R. W.

      I, too, have enjoyed playing with names, especially after finding that Wolfram Alpha has gone beyond *normal* numerical analysis (e.g. (sin x)/X http://www.wolframalp...­) by tapping into all kinds of data (e.g. comparing GDP's -- of France vs California (http://www.wolframalp...­) or of US, Canada, France (http://www.wolframalp...­), albeit with a confusing/fragile attempt at interpreting natural language). The most interesting (to me, lately) is census data for kid names. As a child, "Emma" was the name of a soon-to-die very old person -- now it's coming back as one of the top 5 names for a newborn (http://www.wolframalp...­). It's also interesting to show relative frequencies as names come into fashion, then fade away or crash (http://www.wolframalp...­). Way fun to play with....

      1 · January 30, 2013

    • Michael R. W.

      Play... One of my favorite quotes was intended to be about text, but I munge it to apply to data and visualizations... The skill of writing is to create a context in which other people can think.

      -- Edwin Schlossberg

      January 30, 2013

  • Michael

    Excellent, and a lot of fun :-)

    January 30, 2013

  • Michael R. W.

    What a great working/learning meeting, even though the power outage prevented having the meeting that was planned. Nice live improv.

    1 · January 30, 2013

  • David P.

    Nicely done, all! Thanks to Leah and all the collaborators. Lookin' forward to more events. Nice link on sankey, Chris. I'm interested in discovering new chart archetypes, potential adds to my palette (XSLT transforms code to produce SVG).

    1 · January 29, 2013

  • Chris R.

    Mentioned I'd forward this site:

    Very professional meeting this evening. Thank you all for sharing.

    2 · January 29, 2013

  • Henry P.


    January 29, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    well prepared despite the understandable technical difficulties

    January 29, 2013

  • Colin M.

    Awesome idea!! This is wonderful, thank you for suggesting/hosting.

    January 15, 2013

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