Improving R Data Visualisations Through Design

When I start an R class, one of my opening lines is nearly always that the software is now used by the likes of the New York Times graphics department or Facebook to manipulate their data and produce great visualisations. After saying this, however...


Cinematic Mapping

I recently posted a great visualisation showing 24 hours of shipping in the Baltic. I liked it for its cinematic appeal (was a bit less keen on the music though), and said that such work goes a long way to broaden the appeal of data visualisation. 4...


The Art of Data Visualisation Video

Map design and cartography are now, more than ever, seen as just one set of tools in a growing data visualisation arsenal. This video features well-known data visualisers who talk through some of their guiding principles, offering many insights for t...


In Maps We Trust

Of all the different types of data visualisation, maps* seem to have the best reputation. I think people are much less likely to trust a pie chart, for example, than a map. In a sense, this is amazing given that all maps are abstractions from reality...


In Praise of Paper Maps

When was the last time you held a paper map? I don’t just mean a map printed on paper, I mean one that was designed to be viewed on paper in the first place. The London A to Z would count, so would those in a printed atlas or obtained from a t...


The Twitter Languages of London

Last year Eric Fischer produced a great map (see below) visualising the language communities of Twitter. The map, perhaps unsurprisingly, closely matches the geographic extents of the world’s major linguistic groups. On seeing these broad patte...


Fast Thinking and Slow Thinking Visualisation

Last week I attended the Association of American Geographers Annual Conference and heard a talk by Robert Groves, Director of the US Census Bureau. Aside the impressiveness of the bureau’s work I was struck by how Groves conceived of visual...