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Data Viz News [4]

A selection of fresh must-read news, articles and resources about data visualization

April 27, 2013

Another week with loads of data visualization-related news, articles and resources. Here on Visual Loop, we talked about the new updates announced by and our columnist Bernardo Gutiérrez presented a new ‘smart mob’ mapping platform, Convoca!.

But there was so many other interesting posts that we’ll just leave you now with this week’s suggested links:



Latest product launches and business announcements, career moves, data visualization competitions and general news.


A year after the release of the English version of The Data Journalism Handbook, the Spanish translation (we spoke about that here) is out.

On Saturday, 27 April, during the Perugia International Journalism Festival, the Global Editors Network announced the 73 finalists of the 2nd edition of the Data Journalism Awards, an international competition recognising outstanding work in data journalism worldwide.

BIG DIVE is a training program aimed at boosting a new generation of developers. Or, if your prefer, it’s like a street-fighting gym where high value datasets are the raw material in the hands of a bunch of ambitious smart geeks tutored and mentored by experts in three key areas: Development, Visualization and Data Science.

US organisation Datakind – which joins developers with charities – is starting up in the UK, to provide help to the many charities struggling to make the most of their information.

The Mail Online have rolled out ‘By the Numbers’, a real time mapping tool for displaying information about the website’s traffic, and users comments and ratings.

The Data & GIS Services department at Duke University hosted a data visualization contest this winter and the winners were announced this week.

A challenge open to anyone who wants to participate, and is aimed at turning the raw data of ‘civic health’ into useful applications and visualizations that have direct impact on public decision-making. Full details here.

Partial screen capture of the website The Civic Data Challenge
(image: The Civic Data Challenge)



A selection of recent articles published by experts in data visualization, cartography, business analytics and visual journalism, among other topics.


Martina Frantzén and Benjamin Wiederkehr talk about what happened at the SEE#8 Conference.

After having more than a million people using the Wolfram|Alpha Personal Analytics for Facebook, Stephen Worlfram shows some of the insights collected from the data analysed.

Stephen Few demonstrates the possibilities within the use square shaped objects to encode quantitative information, in opposition of the ‘bubble charts’, so popular these days.

After two Harvard economists admitted a faulty spreadsheet calculation caused errors in a study used by numerous politicians to support their austerity policies, writer Colm O’Regan pays tribute to the power of Microsoft Excel.

Some of the infographics produced by the graphics team of the Boston Globe, after the explosions that shocked the world.

Alex Romanov, founder/CEO of iSign, tries to answer a complex question: Could we have done more to prevent Boston bombing ?

A selection of six real-world examples of how healthcare can use big data analytics

Data by the Book: You Don’t Know What You’ve Got ’til It’s Gone | Smart data Collective

Michael Askin presents a business success story that substantiates the notion that you should store every last iota of data.

Andy Kirk published this guest post from Ben Harrow, Digital Editor at 72Point and at News by Design.



Insights from well-known names in the data visualization field, published during last week.


Moritz Stefaner shares the interview he gave for Nathan Yau’s new book, ‘Data points‘.

A quick conversation with Rachel Binx, a freelance data visualizer whose experience includes working for Stamen and producing projects for Pitch Interactive.

An interesting ‘Twitter conversation’ with Chicago Sun-Times managing editor Craig Newman, sharing his expectations of the multitude of digital expertise for a new hire.



Ranging from tutorials and presentations, to lists of tools and practical guidelines for creating effective data visualizations.


A list with some of the links shared during the sessions presented at The School of Data Journalism’ event.

The slides of a talk given by Jim Vallandingham at the 2013 CityCampKC conference that took place 4/20 at the Kauffman Foundation Conference Center.

Robert Kosara presents @InfoVis_Ebooks, a Twitter account that posts random pieces of text from infovis papers.

A tutorial by Michael Bauer, instructor at the School of Data, based on his workshop, Social Network Analysis for Journalists Using the Twitter API.

An article presenting Zoomdata, a platform to upload multiple data streams and view it on tablet devices. It was written by Stephanie Nguyen.

A look at the latest interaction design project from Copenhagen-based creator Andrew Spitz.

A brief overview of the several packages on CRAN for classical multivariate analysis, by Paul Hewson

Hadoop Toolbox: When to Use What | Smart Data Collective

How to choose the right Hadoop tool for your specific needs, an explanation by Mohammad Tariq.

Global News data desk journalist Patrick Cain outlines his favorite five free data journalism tools.


Next week’s Data Viz events

An updated view at the Events Calendar we have available here on Visual Loop.


The ACM SIGCHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems is the premier international conference on human-computer interaction. CHI 2013 is about changing perspectives: we draw from the constantly changing perspectives of the diverse CHI community and beyond, but we also change perspectives, offering new visions of people interacting with technology. More here.

The ACM SIGCHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems
The ACM SIGCHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems

The Data Harvest Conference, one of the most relevant networking events for journalists who want to cover Europe, is up to its third edition this year. It will be held in Brussels and you can get all the details here.


That’s it for another Data Viz News. Like we said before, feel free to let us know if we missed some interesting resource, and don’t forget to join us on our Facebook Group or, where we share many of the links mentioned above.

Written by Tiago Veloso

Tiago Veloso is the founder and editor of Visualoop and Visualoop Brasil . He is Portuguese, currently based in Bonito, Brazil.