Catching up with the story

Having been very busy with teaching and trying to finish the first chapter of my dissertation, I’ve neglected this blog for a while. So it’s time for some catching up. And although you’ve probably seen it on all the other blogs about visualization, the trailer of The Joy of Stats should not be missing here. In this BBC documentary Hans Rosling once again will demonstrate his enormous enthusiasm about the revealing powers of visualized statistics. According to some critics the slick, minority report-like visuals are a poor and unnecessary substitute for Roslings original TED-talks, the snippet shows again that the real power of interactivity and visualization is revealed in combination with a strong narration.

Mandatory reading

I really wish I could have attended the workshop on Telling Stories with Data that was part of this years VisWeek. But Salt Lake City is a long way from Amsterdam when you have to pay for your own ticket. Fortunately FlowingData offers a rich summary of its content, including a list of issues that need further attention by both researchers and designers of interactive data stories:

  • reconciling the open-ended nature of interactive visualizations with the fixed paths of traditional storytelling
  • identifying specific interaction techniques in visualization systems that assist with storytelling
  • applying methods from film and other time-based media to visualization design
  • identifying potential characters, events, and plot in a dataset and revealing them to an audience

The post is recommended for everyone who is interested in a combination of datavisualization and interactive storytelling. For the students that participate in the tutorial on datajournalism that started last friday, it’s mandatory.