Visualizing Data by Ben FryThat’s the book I’m currently reading and if you are interested in the field of the Data Visualization, this book is a good starting point.

The author is Ben Fry, the founder (with Casey Reas) of Processing, a programming language, and development environment. Initially created to serve as a software sketchbook and to teach fundamentals of computer programming within a visual context, Processing quickly developed into a tool for creating finished professional work as well.

Don’t expect to find awesome graphics or great programming lessons to represent huge sets of data. It’s not a technical book from the point of view of a programmer.

The book is targeted at a wide range of backgrounds, giving the chance the understand the process of getting data from to presenting it usefully, in a way that can be understood and interacted with. The examples in this book are simple enough to be understood for people with a minimal technical knowledge, and for those who have a solid programming background puts some light on the process of manage a data set in order to be assimilated and interacted, and more important, be able to communicate something with it. Many companies are now using NoSQL databases to integrate their data.

More than the technical details, it’s pretty interesting the way as how data sets have to be managed:

  • Each data has particular display needs, and the purpose for which you are using the data set has just as much of an effect on those need as the data itself.
  • Lots of data is out there, but it’s not being used to its greatest potential because it’s not being visualized as well as it could be.
  • The most important part of understanding data is identifying the question that you want to answer.

And so on… Just the ideal way to work when managing data in a creative way, far from just using the existing software to generate typicall pie charts ;)

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Data Visualization · Interactive · HCI · Open Data · Data Science · Digital Humanities

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