Visualisation Magazine vol1

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berlin by cool infographics idea chicago by darmano

moral poli�cs by adelheid mers

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moral poli�cs by adelheid myers contents page the big viz by david sibbet & kevin richards the write way to draw by chris watson periodic table of visualisa�on methods by ralph lengler and mar�n j. eppler

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seman�c mapping by christophe tricot

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co-map by arnaud velten

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molecular and cell biology by eigenfactor

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prometheus lrg by boris muller

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foo bar by eboy type �meline half 1 by chris watson internet under sea cable by telegeography

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media skills by brian holmes

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coffee tas�ng flavor wheel by wholela�elove

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liverpool the centre of the crea�ve universe by burn everything iden�tà_chi sono io_chi sei tu by roberta buzzachino

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edges 3 by hugh macloed

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visual thinking for design reviewed by Robert Kosara domain name system by hugh dubberly

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origin & development of life visual by encyclopaedia universalis

notebook by chris watson

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life map by ritwik dey


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war & death - world shape cartogram by uni’s of michigan (US) and sheffield (UK)


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anatomy of the mortal soul by adam dant


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world map by paula scher una mappa sull’energia by luisanna fiorini

car brands visual - auto family tree 2008 by too many cars

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We use wri�ng to help us externalise knowledge and visualise our thoughts into this language of shapes called wri�ng, the alphabet that quite a number of us understand.


We access this knowledge through connected ever changing synapses of maps in our heads. We access these maps is through thinking, they are referred to as Mental Schemas (mental maps) by Mike Sharples, ‘…schemas integrate all our senses. They are pre-linguis�c and must be converted into language before they can be expressed as words’ or images (Sharples, 1999, p.91). But these are essen�al of what Visual thinking is, that process of conver�ng ideas, thoughts, knowledge into these shapes that we first learnt to draw un�l they become words & wri�ng.

Dan roam summaries this brilliantly with his Look See Show Tell at his blog h�p://, drawing out a problem.

This is what you would associate drawing with, sketching, problem solving, graphic design, visualising ideas. But when we externalise our ideas connected as mind maps, doodling we use words and image, is this not just drawing?

The Write Way to Draw by Chris Watson

The capital le�er A developed from a pictographic (pictogram) drawing of an ox. Hieroglyphs, images were our star�ng points for language un�l it developed and we all arbitrarily agree that these signs, our understandings of a par�cular set of shapes represent sounds/meanings and we communicate. What I am seeking though is can just abstract drawings/shapes of visual thinking help us to understand, clarify, simplify, complexity? Do we s�ll have to use words as our primary visualisa�on tool when designing our visual maps, externalising our mental schemas, to find clarity in this complexity? Or do drawings/shapes just serve as the glue, the guides, the linking, the connec�ng? We can use abstract shapes to make the familiarity of objects/events in the world strange and ins�gate using our knowledge to interpret, but can they really communicate and clarify complex subjects/discourses? So the Write way to draw, what is the right way to visualise, wri�ng with words or drawing with shapes?

Please feel welcome and respond at

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The Write Way to Draw

We learn how to draw le�ers, typographic characters in the alphabet. We draw the bowl and follow through to the stem and ‘dar da’ (magic) we have a d. We see the shapes of le�ers and learn to draw them basically un�l we can then draw them con�nuously and some�mes connected (joined up) and we call it wri�ng.

In our case, mapping aims to see (in map form) a set of abstract data. As we have previously described in this document, the display is an excellent medium between a lot of informa�on and spirit. However, it is possible to construct an almost infinite number of maps for the same informa�on space. Besides this document only a limited panel of paradigms, it is easy to imagine the amount of possible combina�ons. In this context, how to build a map? Indeed, it is not enough to produce a map from an informa�on space so the result is “effec�ve”.

“Given the growing mass of data, mapping offers opportuni�es to communicate synthe�cally and iden�fy strategic informa�on useful to policy makers. But how to pass raw data to map? » “Pierre Mongin (preface [Poidevin, 1999]). Besides, a bad map can convey an ambiguous or erroneous informa�on and its user can find itself penalized heavily in its decision-making.To avoid this kind of misadventure, we have iden�fied different needs that must be met for mapping answer to our problem apprehension of an informa�on space:

Browse by seman�c domain for their ac�vi�es, employees must navigate the informa�on space of their


Our goal is to propose a mapping capable of assis�ng organiza�ons to understand their informa�on space to be�er control it.

organiza�on (as when searching for informa�on). To facilitate browsing, it is necessary that the maps convey the seman�cs of the field. If it meets this seman�c mapping, users can then understand, assimilate and exploit it and hence, they can more easily grasp all the informa�on space.

apprehend in its en�rety but also in its peculiari�es. That is why it is necessary to provide employees simultaneously a global vision and summary of the informa�on space and a par�cular vision and detailed the same space.

Propose a map tailored to the user: all staff were not the same ac�vity and the same level of exper�se. Each map must therefore be adapted to its user. In addi�on, a map is a representa�on of the informa�on space, it conveys a meaning. It is then necessary to select and adapt this representa�on to control the meaning of the map that is ul�mately collected. All these needs is linked to the need for the user to navigate through an area o�en important informa�on. Our approach to address this problem then is to map the informa�on space organiza�ons. Thus, mapping data abstract is the mainstay of our study. Under the mapping of an informa�on space of an organiza�on taking into account the seman�cs of the area, we are talking about mapping seman�cs. It becomes an essen�al ac�vity in the management of knowledge to benefit from the wealth of informa�on on the organiza�on.

seman�c mapping by christophetricot

Semantic Mapping

Propose a vision several levels: allow the user to appropriate informa�on needed to provide the means to

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Co-Map by Arnaud Velten

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Foo Bar by Eboy

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internet under sea cables by tellegeography

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world map by paula scher

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handwri�en: expressive le�ering the digital age by steven heller and mirko illic

Una mappa sull’energia by Luisanna Fiorini

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iden�tà_chi sono io_chi sei tu by roberta buzzachino

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Car Brands Visual - Auto Family Tree 2008 by too many cars

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Domain Name System by hugh dubberly h�p://

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Origin & Development of Life by Encyclopaedia Universalis

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Life Map by Ritwik Dey h�p://

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War & Death - World Shape Cartogram by Uni’s of Michigan (US) and Sheffield (UK) h�p://

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Anatomy of the mortal soul by adam dant

16 page crea�ve review 07

the big viz by david sibbet & kevin richards

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Periodic table of Visualisa�on Methods by Ralph Lengler and Mar�n J.

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Molecular and cell biology - 2004 - eigenfactor

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prometheus lrg by boris muller

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Type Timeline Half 1 by Chris Watson

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media skills by brian holmes

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coffee tas�ng flavor wheel by wholela�elove

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LIverpool the Centre of the Crea�ve UNiverse Map by Burn Every-

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“Edges 3”. Part of “The Edges” Series by hugh macloed

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(Why) Is This An InfoVis Book? My interest in this book comes from several terms men�oned in the �tle and sub�tle. I think that visual thinking is marginalized in visualiza�on, where we o�en present par�cular data rather than provide the visual means for solving problems. Design and design skills are also s�ll underappreciated in InfoVis. Visual gist, narra�ve, etc. are things people think and talk about, but very li�le of that translates into the work being done in InfoVis. The Book This is a well-designed book by somebody who knows exactly what he wants. In the preface, Ware talks about how he placed the images in the text so they would appear where they are needed, without the need for “See Figure x” to send the reader hun�ng for the right image. He uses that to great effect to set up li�le experiments where the reader has to read the instruc�ons at the bo�om of one page and only sees the image when turning the page. Most figures really are were they belong, but some are not, and that is a lot more apparent when so much emphasis is put on figure placement.

‘The wri�ng is vivid and very readable.’ This is a book for an audience with a vast

Book Reviews

range of backgrounds, and Ware does not assume much previous knowledge or a great tolerance for jargon. However, the book also feels superficial in places. A lot of the usual basics are only skimmed over, and that helps make the book manageable and get to the important parts, but some readers will want to know more and will not be provided with many pointers where to look. Chapter By Chapter Here is a brief summary of every chapter, with some thoughts on each of them. I am only men�oning topics that I found par�cularly interes�ng and/or relevant, more things are certainly covered in the book. Chapter 1 dives right into cogni�on and change blindness to discuss visual memory and introduces the concept of the world as its own memory, which we constantly query as needed instead of keeping a model in our heads. Ware compares the eye to a digital camera, which is generally a bad idea, but he makes it work by introducing the concept of the brain pixel. The mixed bo�om-up and top-down aspects of visual processing are also discussed and used to present a first overall model of vision. Chapter 2 describes the parallel processing that takes place in the brain, the different pathways involved and how eye movement planning works. more... visit Eager Eyes.


Colin Ware is a well-known researcher in Informa�on Visualiza�on (InfoVis), and I consider him the one with the most scien�fic approach in the field. His book Informa�on Visualiza�on: Percep�on for Design is widely read and used in visualiza�on courses, and is without doubt the most thorough treatment of the perceptual and cogni�ve psychology founda�ons of visualiza�on (and design, for that ma�er). He was also kind enough to contribute a list of influences to this site, where he men�oned the book he was working on at the �me.

Visual Thinking for Design reviewed by Robert Kosara

Colin Ware’s latest book Visual Thinking for Design has a promising sub�tle: ac�ve vision, a�en�on, visual queries, gist, visual skills, color, narra�ve, design. That’s covering quite a bit of ground, and also a lot of things not usually considered in visualiza�on. While this is a book about design, I was interested in what it could teach people in InfoVis, and I review it from that point of view.

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notebook 4 - wierdo by chris watson

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Your Ads here h�p://

feature this Visualisa�on mag on your page/blog. send link to see & your ad. try to keep it small 150 x 100 pixels ...ish (nego�able)

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Adver�sing Contact


...the cost?

I know many of my readers would really enjoy the conference VizThink Europe, and the conference is coming up quickly. The Europe version is in Berlin, Germany this year on October 12-14 at Crown Plaza Berlin City Centre. We’ll have lots of opportuni�es for hands on experiences, learning from industry gurus, and networking with your visual thinking peers. We’ll be bringing a few of your favorite facilitators from San Francisco with all new content, plus a whole lot of new facilitators from Europe. The great guys at VizThink have created a discount code for readers of Cool Infographics. Use the code BCRK01 when you register to get €50 ($75-$80 in U.S. dollars these days) off any regular a�endance fee (not student, Government or non-profit rates). more here at randy’s cool infographics

Idea conference in chicago Jesse James Garre� - Adap�ve Path Jason Fried - 37 Signals David Armano - Logic & Emo�on Aradhana Goel - IDEO Dave Gray - Xplane Bill DeRouchey - Ziba Design Andrew Hinton - Vanguard ...and more The role of all types of designers is being grappled with by many organiza�ons. I recently recieved a heads up from (former) Forrester Analyst Kerry Bodine who announced that she’ll be leaving Forrester to build an experience design prac�ce at adver�sing agency Hill| Holliday. I am not suprised at all by moves like this as I’ve been talking about convergence for some �me. Marke�ng, design and “branding” are on a violent collision course as communica�ons, experience and messaging become indis�gusible to the average customer/user. It’s going to get interes�ng to say the least. Hope to see you at IDEA. found here: h�p://�on/2008/08/idea-2008disci.html

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h�p:// vizthink europe by randy krum

VizThink conference in berlin



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Visualisa�on’s design, & unless otherwise stated copyright to chris watson

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