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Visualize This: The FlowingData Guide to Design, Visualization, and Statistics

ISBN: 978-1-118-14026-0
384 pages
June 2011
Visualize This: The FlowingData Guide to Design, Visualization, and Statistics (1118140265) cover image

Description

Practical data design tips from a data visualization expert of the modern age

Data doesn?t decrease; it is ever-increasing and can be overwhelming to organize in a way that makes sense to its intended audience. Wouldn?t it be wonderful if we could actually visualize data in such a way that we could maximize its potential and tell a story in a clear, concise manner? Thanks to the creative genius of Nathan Yau, we can. With this full-color book, data visualization guru and author Nathan Yau uses step-by-step tutorials to show you how to visualize and tell stories with data. He explains how to gather, parse, and format data and then design high quality graphics that help you explore and present patterns, outliers, and relationships.

  • Presents a unique approach to visualizing and telling stories with data, from a data visualization expert and the creator of flowingdata.com, Nathan Yau
  • Offers step-by-step tutorials and practical design tips for creating statistical graphics, geographical maps, and information design to find meaning in the numbers
  • Details tools that can be used to visualize data-native graphics for the Web, such as ActionScript, Flash libraries, PHP, and JavaScript and tools to design graphics for print, such as R and Illustrator
  • Contains numerous examples and descriptions of patterns and outliers and explains how to show them

Visualize This demonstrates how to explain data visually so that you can present your information in a way that is easy to understand and appealing.

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Table of Contents

Introduction xv

1 Telling Stories with Data 1

More Than Numbers 2

What to Look For 8

Design 13

Wrapping Up 20

2 Handling Data 21

Gather Data 22

Formatting Data 38

Wrapping Up 52

3 Choosing Tools to Visualize Data 53

Out-of-the-Box Visualization 54

Programming 62

Illustration 76

Mapping 80

Survey Your Options 88

Wrapping Up 89

4 Visualizing Patterns over Time 91

What to Look for over Time 92

Discrete Points in Time 93

Continuous Data 118

Wrapping Up 132

5 Visualizing Proportions 135

What to Look for in Proportions 136

Parts of a Whole 136

Proportions over Time 161

Wrapping Up 178

6 Visualizing Relationships 179

What Relationships to Look For 180

Correlation 180

Distribution 200

Comparison 213

Wrapping Up 226

7 Spotting Differences 227

What to Look For 228

Comparing across Multiple Variables 228

Reducing Dimensions 258

Searching for Outliers 265

Wrapping Up 269

8 Visualizing Spatial Relationships 271

What to Look For 272

Specific Locations 272

Regions 285

Over Space and Time 302

Wrapping Up 325

9 Designing with a Purpose 327

Prepare Yourself 328

Prepare Your Readers 330

Visual Cues 334

Good Visualization 340

Wrapping Up 341

Index 343

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Author Information

Nathan Yau is a PhD candidate in Statistics at UCLA and a lifelong data junkie. His goal is to make data available and useful to those who aren't necessarily data experts, and he focuses on data visualization and personal data collection. You can follow his visualization experiments at http://flowingdata.com.
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