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Data Viz News [5]

A selection of recent news, articles and data viz resources

May 4, 2013

Lots of great content today, as another week comes to the end – a special one for the ‘Internet people’, with the outcome of the 2013 Webby Awards. But before we start with our list of recommended links, we’d like to reference a couple of other websites doing a fantastic jobs filtering and curating interesting – and recent – links, on a weekly basis.

For instances, you have Nieman Journalism Lab publishing a This week in review article every Friday. Craig Silverman, Director of Content and Product Strategy at Spundge, also releases a selection of data journalism links every week. The folks at the School of Data Journalism also do a great job rounding-up the top news, you should definitively check it out as well. Here’s the latest.

There are, surely, many others out there. If you know one (or more) of those sites, just drop us a comment, we’ll be sure to mention it here in the future.

And now let’s move on to the best links of the week:


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


The list of websites, apps, organizations and projects awarded at one of the most prestigious web-events in the World. We talked about data visualization and the Webby awards previously this week here.

Partial screen capture of the Webby awards website
(imagem: | Webby awards)

Without the ‘Arab Spring’ effect, this year’s index is a better reflection of the attitudes and intentions of governments towards media freedom in the medium or long term.

The annual National Magazine Awards recognized the quality, both print and online, of the work being done at the New York magazine, that also won the prize for best magazine section.

Randy Krum shares his thoughts about the new White House Tumblr feed, that started with the promise of releasing more infographics in the near future.

Researchers at IBM used the largest-ever release of mobile-phone data to develop a new model for optimizing an urban transportation system.

In the UK, a new petition claiming the government’s use of statistics on benefits is misleading has captured the headlines.



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

Stephen Few on the persuasive mechanism of stories, and the balance between facts and emotion when trying to tell stories with data.

A new series of guest posts being published by Randy Krum at Cool Infographics blog. The first one comes from Alberto Cairo.’s Drew Skau coverage of the CHI2013 conference, featuring two projects that  aren’t exactly visualizations, but  work to extend beyond what visualization can provide for us.

Peter Verweij breaks down the importance of Data journalism for media professionals, enumerates some of the best tools and leaves a couple of advises for newsrooms..

Robert Kosara introduces Eric Newburger‘s theory on why are tables still being used as a main data displaying tool. You can also see Newburger’s presentation here.

Alberto Cairo shares his thoughts on Katy Börner’s Atlas of Science: Visualizing What We Know and the work being developed by the team at the Cyberinfrastructure for Network Science Center.

ISDS’s Research Committee April’s Literature Review was dedicated to data visualization, with three articles being summarized and discussed.

Martin received an ‘interesting and appealing’ email marketing message and shared it with his readers.

Another take on the spreadsheet error in an influential study by Harvard University economists Carmen Reinhart and Kenneth Rogoff, this time by Betsey Stevenson & Justin Wolfers.

A new post of the “Creative Things Designers Do” series, published by Drew Skau. After pie charts and bar charts, the topic in hand is Area based Encoding.

Adolfo Arranz shows some of the sketches and details the creation of the infographic about Kowloon Walled Cit, published in the South China Morning Post.

City of Anarchy, infographic by Adolfo Arranz | South China Morning Post
(image: Adolfo Arranz | South China Morning Post)

The inside scoop on one of the latest interactive graphics by The New York Times infographic team. The visualization looks at the history of NFL drafts, and this post explains how the team worked with the data and developed the infographic.

Partial screen capture of The New York Times' interactive infographic When the 10 Best Players Were Drafted Each Year
(image: The New York Times)

Florencia Coelho, one of the editors of the Argentinian newspaper La Nacion‘s data blog, made a video (in Spanish) telling what she liked the most about Simon Roger‘s book, Facts are Sacred.

The state of college journalism programs and the changes that the market is imposing to the traditional curriculum.

The thoughts on Wikidata, the latest initiative of Wikimedia (operator of Wikipedia, Wiktionary and the Wikiversity), shared by The Guardian’s writer Mona Chalabi.

A follow-up to Ted Cuzzillo‘s article “Big data, big hype, big danger”, by Marketing Consultant Gil Press.

And yes, the infamous spreadsheet error under the scope again, with Bob Lambert sharing his opinion on this subject.



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

A quick interview with Alberto Cairo, about his journalistic and teaching careers

Jonathan Schwabish gets interviewed by Mark Wilson, of Fast.Co Design, about the use of data visualization by the Congress.

Rohan Silva is a key advisor to Britain’s Prime Minister, responsible for helping create Britain’s transparent open data regime, and Simon Rogers had the opportunity to talk with him recently.

Rachel McAthy writes about the conversation with Friedrich Lindenberg, on the prsent and future of the OpenSpending project

Miguel Barbosa continues his series of conversations on information visualization with Cole Nussbaumer, founder of



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

How to avoid common mistakes when creating charts and dealing with continuous values.

Another article with basic, but effective, tips on how to improve a chart’s readability, this time by Jonathan Schwabish.

Detailed tutorial by Lisa Williams, for those interested in creating an interactive timeline with Timeline.js.

Again from Lisa Williams, a quick tutorial about the Javascript library Tabletop.js.

Python has become more and more used for the development of data centric applications, and in this article Giuseppe Vettigli helps you find the tools used in practical Data Mining for finding and describing structural patterns in data using this progrmming language.

The Tao of Data Visualization with Douglas Welton | Skookum Digital Works


Next week’s Data Viz events

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

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’s being held in Brussels and you can keep up with all the details here. 

Code with Me is a two-day workshop, in which one professional is paired with every two students and teaches them how to code from the ground up.

This course (in Spanish) will take place in Seville, and it’s intended to journalists and students facing the challenge of working with data. See the details here.

(image: Curso de periodismo de datos)
(image: Curso de periodismo de datos)



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

Written by Tiago Veloso

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