VDS Digest

A weekly roundup of the visual press.

"Ainsi parlait Zarathoustra" (F. Nietzsche, 1886)
March 18, 2024

[Visual Data Storytelling #29] You Have One New Message

Is audio a relevant medium to create knowledge? Is there a chance to turn every reader into a creator of audiobooks? What can we learn from the Bible app? These are some questions I will try to answer in this week's VDS newsletter.

Some patterns are better suited to visual groups, and are known as Gestalt principles.
February 19, 2024

Empower Your Charts With Accessibility Standards

Accessibility standards often comes as an extra step or a burden to web development. However, it can and should be a first step to create both more engaging and better experiences.

Modeling a complex system with node-edge diagrams.
February 14, 2024

Simulated Worlds, Experienced Knowledge, and Simpson's Paradox

This is the third installment of a reflection about games in humanistic data storytelling. It will focus on causal models and simulations.

A misleading chart published in The Economist.
February 5, 2024

How Indexed Charts Are Used to Tell Lies

The Economist published a bad chart; two pieces by two prominent information designers, who also turns out to be women; Climate Change, doctors in Gaza, or accessible visualizations.

January 29, 2024

[VDS] French Schools Amplify Inequalities. Play It Yourself.

In France, only 3 out of 10 poor kids go to college, against 7 out of 10 for rich kids. I use this proportion to continue the exploration of "quest charts"—interactive and humanistic data visualizations.

Maritime trade has shifted around Africa since the Houthi attacks (map of maritime trade, before / after the attacks).
January 22, 2024

How Houthi Attacks Rerouted Maritime Trade

In this week digest: Houthi attacks in the Red Sea, the decline of birds, a door that went off, some good news and more.

January 15, 2024

[VDS Quest Chart] Introducing Quest Charts

Quest charts are a paradigm shift in dataviz in which the reader-player can feel the data.

Pie charts
January 8, 2024

[VDS Digest] How the Terminal Influences Bloomberg's Visual Identity

The Terminal is one of Bloomberg's core products, and it essentially drives the whole visual feeling of most of Bloomberg's charts.

A color palette
January 1, 2024

[VDS] 7 Tips I Would Have Given Me In 2023

7 software engineering tips every data scientists should know about in 2024.

A grid of abstract shapes by Wassily Kandinsky
December 25, 2023

[VDS Retro] 24 Charts Before 2024

This has been a rollercoaster of a year, to say the least. 24 charts to get ready for 2024.

December 18, 2023

My Life With Long Covid (VDS Learning 3/4)

Giorgia Lupi is the voice of data humanism, and has been a vocal advocate of finding visual ways to display our "messy lives". After three years of long covid, she explores her journey through pain, medical bills, and hope, in this very personal visual essay for the New-York Times.

Composition VIII—Kandinsky (1923)
December 11, 2023

The Nested Blocks and Guidelines Model (VDS Learning 2/4)

Tamara Munzner is one the most influential scholar in infovis. Her "nested blocks" model is a 4-layers method to start a data-driven project:

Visual Analytics
December 4, 2023

Design and Data Science for Visual Analytics (VDS Leaning 1/4)

The first week of this 4-weeks series will focus on the concept of visualization research and Visual Analytics.

November 27, 2023

Broken Record

An impactful image can leave a lasting impression. This cover from a report of the UN Environment Program is a blast.

Judith Beheading Holofernes—Caravaggio
November 20, 2023

Vanitas Vanitatum et Omnia Vanitas

Like in a Baroque painting, this Washington Post story about the deaths of Palestinian children emphasizes the fragility of life with smokey visualizations.

A comparison of "a person at social services" (colored people) and "productive person" (mostly white) as seen by AI.
November 13, 2023

The Shadows of Bias in Generative AI

Bloomberg and The Washington Post explore the profound impact of bias on the mental frameworks that underpin AI.

Gaza demographics, comparaison with Hong Kong.
November 6, 2023

[A Closer Look] SCMP's 'Israel-Gaza War Explained'

How can narrative design patterns be used to understand the structure of SCMP's 'Israel-Gaza War Explained'?

Taylor Swift is a billionaire
October 30, 2023

Visual Semantics & Friendship Bracelets

How to create a handmade piece of data storytelling? An example from Bloomberg's analysis of Taylor Swift's billions. Also charts about global warming, guns, demography, Disney, and Brazil.

Age of members of Spanish Congress
October 23, 2023

Area Chart vs Area Bump Chart

Two approaches on demographics visualization this week. The first comes from The Economist, the second from El País, and both deal with an aging Congress. However, the focus shifts between the two.

An illustration with depth of Israel's "Iron Wall"
October 16, 2023

6 Empathetic Ways To Visualize Conflict

How was the war between Hamas and Israel visualized in the press and what can we learn about empathy?