Before I started working on this data visualization project, I really wanted to make a map. I didn’t have any data to visualize yet, but I was already thinking about all the things that I could do with a map. That is probably not the best way to start a visualization project. Maps are great, but only when geography provides a meaningful way to present the data. Fortunately, I found an interesting talk from Noah Iliinsky that slapped some sense into me.
In the arrangement of a visualization, every single pixel should testify directly to content. As Jony Ive, the great Apple designer said, “We spend most of our time getting design out of the way.” It’s got to get out of the way because it’s about the relationship of the viewer and how they reason about the content. Style and aesthetics cannot rescue failed content. If the words aren’t truthful, the finest optically letter spaced typography won’t turn lies into truths.
Data is everywhere. It’s being consumed by every smart phone whenever we receive e-mails and notifications, but we’re also producing it faster than ever. Every Facebook post, every Instagram picture, and every geotagged location produces even more data, but what does all of this information mean? As part of a commitment to teach myself something new every month, I decided to jump into the world of data visualization.
Data Visualization Data Visualization is an incredibly interesting field to me because it combines a lot of different fields and skills.