Writing

Design for Haiti

John Maeda put us in touch with Aaron Perry-Zucker, who writes:

I created Design for Obama and saw what a fully engaged, passionate, creative community can do. On that occasion, we were eager to lend our creative talents to a movement calling for change and inspire others to do the same.

Today we face a much graver task: In the wake of the unimaginable suffering that has befallen the island of Haiti, it is our job as artists and designers to use our talents to call for advocacy and understanding. Thanks to Design for Obama artist, James Nesbitt, we are now operating from designforhaiti.com.

Consider this a creative call to action to design:

Both are necessary; this is what artists and designers do best. Let us come together and lead the way to relief.

— Aaron Perry-Zucker

Thursday, January 21, 2010 | opportunities  
Book

Visualizing Data Book CoverVisualizing Data is my book about computational information design. It covers the path from raw data to how we understand it, detailing how to begin with a set of numbers and produce images or software that lets you view and interact with information. Unlike nearly all books in this field, it is a hands-on guide intended for people who want to learn how to actually build a data visualization.

The text was published by O’Reilly in December 2007 and can be found at Amazon and elsewhere. Amazon also has an edition for the Kindle, for people who aren’t into the dead tree thing. (Proceeds from Amazon links found on this page are used to pay my web hosting bill.)

Examples for the book can be found here.

The book covers ideas found in my Ph.D. dissertation, which is basis for Chapter 1. The next chapter is an extremely brief introduction to Processing, which is used for the examples. Next is (chapter 3) is a simple mapping project to place data points on a map of the United States. Of course, the idea is not that lots of people want to visualize data for each of 50 states. Instead, it’s a jumping off point for learning how to lay out data spatially.

The chapters that follow cover six more projects, such as salary vs. performance (Chapter 5), zipdecode (Chapter 6), followed by more advanced topics dealing with trees, treemaps, hierarchies, and recursion (Chapter 7), plus graphs and networks (Chapter 8).

This site is used for follow-up code and writing about related topics.

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