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Data Viz News [7]

The top news, articles and resources from throughout the Internet

May 18, 2013

What an incredible week for data visualization in general! Not only the top news, like the biggest Google Maps update ever or Tableau going public, but also the amount of great articles and resources we’ve collected from throughout the Internet  is enough to fill your entire weekend!

Don’t believe it?  Well, take a look then:



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

As expected, Google announced what turned out to be the biggest change ever made to Google Maps since its launch, eight years ago. The media has responded quite positively so far (see ARTICLES section below), and if you haven’t requested an invitation yet, here’s the link – and here’s the video Google released with a brief overview of all the changes.

One of the more highly anticipated tech IPOs of the year, Business Intelligence provider Tableau Software is now trading as “DATA”, in the New York Stock Exchange. It priced its IPO at $31 per share, and it’s now at 63% above opening price, around $50.75/share.

Another acquisition for Twitter, this time Lucky Sort, a Portland, Oregon-based startup behind a visualization and navigation engine called TopicWatch that helped to discover patterns in live data streams.

MapBox’s data analyst Chris Herwig writes about the major update to several company products, including the amazing Cloudless Atlas imagery in MapBox Satellite.

MapBox update
(image: Beaufort Sea and Amundsen Gulf, Canada, showing the varied natural colors of the tundra | MapBox)


The instructor for this MOOC is award-winning journalist Sandra Crucianelli, who has specialized in investigative and precision journalism. The course started with 3,096 registered students from more than 50 nations, and it will end in June 16, 2013.

The software was bought from Visage Imaging GmbH, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Pro Medicus. With the acquisition, VSG expands and accelerates its position in 3-D visualization and analysis software tools in all scientific and industrial domains

If you’re into Big data and Journalism, the folks at Culture Digitally are preparing a special issue of Digital Journalism that will be about this topic. Check out all the details here.

This is just one of those stories that put a smile on our faces, so just go ahead and read the article posted by Josh Horwitz.

The Global Editors Network organised, last week, the Editors’ Lab New Delhi as part of the series of international hackdays. The winning project, “Trading up: Slum Economics”, designed by Mint, allows people to access and compare information on households in urban slums.



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

Keir Clarke posted one of the early positive reviews of the new Google Maps. Here’s a quote:

Open Street Maps may have far better map data in many parts of the world, Waze may be able to provide far better direction data in many locations, and numerous sites might be able to offer you better local business reviews. However no other online map provider can give you anywhere near the whole package that is the new Google Maps. It simply delivers in nearly every department you want from an online map!

One of the few articles showing concern with the whole “A map for every person and place” concept presented by Google for its map service. This piece was written by Emily Badger.

All the core messages of Stephan Shakespeare‘s independent review into open government data in the UK. Shakespeare is the CEO of YouGov, and the document was a government-commissioned report on what should happen next with opening up government data for the benefit of government, business and citizens.

Alberto Cairo takes on Nathan Yau’s latest book, outlining the evolution from his first publication, Visualize This!.

Ben Lorica delivers this message to all developers of visual analysis tool, enhancing the basic features such tool must have, in order to become accessible to those not familiar with data visualization.

Another guest post on Randy Krum’s blog, this time by John Pring, the director of inbound marketing and content creation at the UK-based design and marketing agency Designbysoap Ltd.



Recent articles related to the wide range of data visualization applications for business analytics, as well as content surrounding the “Big Data” buzz.

Data visualization expert Noah Iliinsky published his latest article of a series of posts covering the Four Pillars of Visualization.

A selection of young companies that are trying to fundamentally change the way that data is visualized, presented by Derrick Harris.

Christopher Tozzi intoduces the EdgeSpring Business Intelligence and Analytics Platform, which is now generally available.

A fresh take on the many problems with the assumptions behind the “big data” narrative, by Christopher Mims. Here’s a quote:

Even web giants like Facebook and Yahoo generally aren’t dealing with big data, and the application of Google-style tools is inappropriate.

A summary by Tirath Ramdas of what took place during Big Data Week 2013 in Kuala Lumpur.

WSJ’s Ben Rooney takes a look at how “big data” can be used to make art and social commentary:



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

Audio files with some of the conferences and interviews held during last months’ Big data Week 2013.

Big Data Week 2013 Interviews
(image: Big Data Week 2013 Interviews | Soundcloud)


Our exclusive interview with the former Data Blog Editor at The Guardian, redy to take up on his new challenge at Twitter. Also in Portuguese here.

Quote from Simon Roger's interview on Visual Loop | Visual Loop
(image: Quote from Simon Roger’s interview on Visual Loop | Visual Loop)


Claire Provost on the importance of Hans Rosling‘s work.

An short interview with Scott Murray, author of Interactive Data Visualization for the Web.

The history and facts behind DataKind – a non-profit organisation that brings together social organisations and data scientists to use available data to effectively implement social programs -, through some quotes by one of the co-founders, Jake Porway.



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

A comprehensive list of all the papers submitted to the 22nd International World Wide Web Conference, that took place in Rio this past week.

Stat 221 was a Harvard graduate class on distributed computing and interactive visualization offered in Spring 2013, and all the slides were just made available online. The course was given by Sergiy O. Nesterko.

The slides from Andy’s presentation at the New York Data Visualisation meetup event.

Jorge Camões digs into the expected evolution of US population data to discover some interesting insights.

Simon presents a visual guide about how to produce data that often results in graphics. It was designed by The Guardian graphic artist Mark McCormick and a pdf is available for download here.

A gathering of advises from experts and trainers, such as Paul Bradshaw, Nicola Hughes and others, on how to start turning statistics into stories.

The inside look at The New York Times’ visualization “Money on the Bench”, developed by Shan Carter, Kevin Quealy and Joe Ward.

Another ‘behind the scenes’ article, with Mike Bostock sharing the process (and code) behind a visualization of the Population Density in California, using data from the American Community Survey, 2011 5-Year Estimate.

A useful video-tutorial covering how to collect data with Google Forms and have it inserted directly into a CartoDB table.

Network Science is a new journal for a new discipline – one using the network paradigm, focusing on actors and relational linkages, to inform research, methodology, and applications from many fields across the natural, social, engineering and informational sciences.

Wendell Santos takes a look at recent mashups that allow users to perform data analytics and show the results through interesting visualizations.



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

 1ª Jornadas de Periodismo de dados

This Data Journalism and Open Data event will take place in Barcelona and Madrid simultaneously, from May 24 to May 26.

Periodismo de dados



Thanks for joining us for another edition of Data Viz News, and feel free to join us on our Facebook Group or, where we share many of the links mentioned above. Have a great weekend!

Written by Tiago Veloso

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