Visualizing Social Data
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Ways of Seeing

This week we will begin to learn more about the principles behind the design of good visualizations. Many of these principles will lead to rules of thumb, guidelines, and techniques that we will end up applying in the code we write. But it is also important to situate these ideas a little more generally. So we start not just with information design or data in particular, but with some questions about the nature of artistic representation in general.

This week's slides

First slide

Download a PDF of this week's slides

No class on Monday (MLK day)

Reading for Wednesday:

  • John Berger, Ways of Seeing (London: BBC Books / Penguin, 1972). Chapter 1 and Chapter 7.
  • Edward R. Tufte, The Visual Display of Quantitative Information (Cheshire, CT: Graphics Press, 1983). Chapter 1.

In addition to reading Berger, I recommend watching the first of the episodes of the TV program that went with the book: