Visualization is the graphic presentation of data -- portrayals meant to reveal complex information at a glance. Think of the familiar map of the New York City subway system, or a diagram of the human brain. Successful visualizations are beautiful not only for their aesthetic design, but also for elegant layers of detail that efficiently generate insight and new understanding. This book examines the methods of two dozen visualization experts who approach their projects from a variety of perspectives -- as artists, designers, commentators, scientists, analysts, statisticians, and more. Together they demonstrate how visualization can help us make sense of the world. * Explore the importance of storytelling with a simple visualization exercise * Learn how color conveys information that our brains recognize before we're fully aware of it * Discover how the books we buy and the people we associate with reveal clues to our deeper selves * Recognize a method to the madness of air travel with a visualization of civilian air traffic * Find out how researchers investigate unknown phenomena, from initial sketches to published papers
Julie Steele is an editor at O'Reilly Media interested in connecting people and ideas. She finds beauty in discovering new ways to understand complex systems, and so enjoys topics related to organizing, storing, and visualizing data. She holds a Master's degree in Political Science (International Relations) from Rutgers University and is excited to be developing Gov 2.0 content for O'Reilly as that space continues to grow. Julie also works with topics related to Python, PHP and SQL, and is co-founder of a NYC group of non-programmers learning Python. Julie lives in Newark, NJ, a short train ride away from NYC where she eats, reads, codes, and practices yoga. Noah has spent the last several years thinking about effective approaches to creating diagrams and other types of information visualization. He also works in interface and interaction design, all from a functional and user-centered perspective. Before becoming a designer he was a programmer for several years. He has a master's in Technical Communication from the University of Washington, and a bachelor's in Physics from Reed College.