Visualization Blog

Ideas, Papers and Thoughts on the field of Visualization

Data Visualization Talks Online

with 5 comments

Lately, I have been collecting links to videos of talks related to Data Visualization. I found multiple talks for some people and so have categorized them accordingly. I have also tried to provide some context to the individual/group.

I think the first TED talk by Hans Rosling (@hansrosling) got a lot of media attention and made people sit up and appreciate the power of ‘narrative visualization’. He almost make it look like a sport with him serving as the role of a commentator. The title on TED’s website for the talk is “the best stats you’ve ever seen“. I am not sure about that, but it is a very entertaining talk.

It was followed up by an interesting study by information visualization researchers George Robertson, Roland Fernandez, Danyel Fisher, Bongshin Lee and John Stasko in the Infovis 2008 paper titled “Effectiveness of Animation in Trend Visualization.” Here is an interesting excerpt from the abstract of the paper:

Results indicate that trend animation can be challenging to use even for presentations; while it is the fastest technique for presentation and participants find it enjoyable and exciting, it does lead to many participant errors. Animation is the least effective form for analysis; both static depictions of trends are significantly faster than animation, and the small multiples display is more accurate.

Hans Rosling was back again at TED 2007 with “New Insights on poverty” and has spoken many times since at TED.

Fernanda Viégas and Martin Wattenberg (@wattenberg) (previously at IBM Research) have brought visualization to the masses in through IBM Many Eyes. They have recently started a new venture called FlowingMedia. Here are some links to their talks:

Manuel Lima (@mslima) of gave an interesting talk at Made by Many. His talk titled Network Visualization in an Age of Interconnectedness was not only an excellent talk, but ended up starting quite a passionate debate which led to Manuel writing a post titled Information Visualization Manifesto. I urge you to read the post and look at the interesting perspectives that infovis experts in the field had to Manuel’s manifesto. Manuel gave another interesting talk at the Creativity and Technology (CaT) 2009:  Information Visualization.

Aaron Koblin (@aaronkoblin) has been involved with creating innovative and evocative data visualization pieces such as the New York Talk Exchange, Radiohead’s House of Cards music video (You can see Aaron in the “Making of House of Cards” video), the very entertaining ‘Bicycle built for 2000‘ project and many others.

Making of House of Cards

Links to a couple of Aaron’s talks are below:

Tom Wujec is a fellow at Autodesk. His talk on  3 ways the brain creates meaning provides an amazing insight into our brain.  He addresses issues related to why data visualization works and how the brain visualizes data.

Jeff Heer has developed information visualization tools that can be used by developers around the world for creating interactive visualizations of their own data. He is the authors of Prefuse, Flare (Check out the excellent demos) and most recently, Protovis (many great examples online). Lately, he has published an informative articles in the ACM Queue titled A tour through the visualization zoo – Jeffrey Heer, Michael Bostock, Vadim Ogievetsky. He does a great job interviewing Fernanda Viegas and Martin Wattenberg in the ACM Queue. A talk by him at the Stanford HCI seminar can be found here (html link, wmv).

Alex Lundry (@alexlundry) presents a very interesting point of view in his talk – “How visualization changes everything“.

Nicholas Christakis presents a very fascinating talk where he used social data visualization to explore the influence of social networks – “The hidden influence of social networks.” In his talk he says that spreading of obesity is due to your social network. Smoking and even divorce can be linked to the company you keep.

Sebastian Wernicke presents a light hearted look where he analyzes TED talks and presents some statistics based on the analysis in his talk – Lies, damned lies and statistics (about TEDTalks)

Please let me know if I have missed any interesting data visualization talks that are available online and I will be happy to update the post.

Written by alark

July 1, 2010 at 2:34 pm

5 Responses

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  1. Speaking of Martin Wattenberg and Fernanda Viegas, they are speaking on July 20 at the Microsoft NERD Center in Cambridge, MA.

    Group: Hacks/Hackers (“for journalists interested in the digital world and technologists interested in media”)
    Talk: “Timeless: Tools for helping reporters create a visual timeline”
    Speakers: Martin Wattenberg & Fernanda Viegas, creaters of the data visualization site
    And: Austin Gardner-Smith, of Pinyadda.come, a web application designed to make it easy to gather, customize, and share news and information from across the web.

    When: Tuesday, July 20. 6-7, drinks and munchies; talks start at 7
    Where: Microsoft NERD Center, 1 Memorial Drive, Cambridge
    Charge: a $10 contribution (or a lesser amount, if you can’t swing it) is requested for food and drinks. Students free

    More info:

    Matt Carroll

    July 9, 2010 at 1:35 pm

    • Looks great. I wish I could go. Any chance of having a recording/liveblogging of their talk? I’d love to post it online.


      July 9, 2010 at 2:43 pm

  2. I think that Nicholas Christakis’ talk about social media and its impacts on society are dead bang on. Obesity is just one side-effect.

    I remember when people at night went outside on their porch (if they had one) and socialized with their neighbors and community. Drive down a neighborhood now: everyone is inside! That change started with the advent of television, and social media has further impacted that.

    Having said that, social media of itself is not bad, it is just none more means of communication. Exercising moderation with not only SM but most other things goes a long ways!

    Of course, moderation

    Martin Eising

    September 1, 2010 at 3:10 pm

  3. […] Data Visualization Talks Online, 2010 post from Alark Joshi listing various videos […]

  4. […] Data Visualization Talks Online, 2010 post from Alark Joshi listing various videos […]

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