Assignment #1 (Due Jan 13)

The use of visualization is pervasive in the media: explanatory diagrams in magazines, graphs describing the projected impact of a new state budget, new experimental data plotted against theoretical expectations, etc. In each case, the author of the visualization tries to convey a point of view by emphasizing some aspects of the data while toning down other aspects. The result can vary widely, from informative to misleading.

For this assignment, go to the library and pick out an example of a good and a bad visualization. The class will divided by source type and domain.

The sources will be one of:

No information visualization text or paper may be used. Go to original sources used by practitioners and researchers.

The domains will be one of:

You will be assigned a source type and a domain in class.

Once you have selected a good and a bad example, make a web page. Include in your web page both pictures, and two paragraphs for each picture. The first paragraph should tell the story behind the picture: what does this picture show? The second paragraph should critique the visualization, explaining why you think it is good or bad. Be specific, and include criteria such as accessibility, clarity, accuracy, or any other criterion about the design of the visualization that you feel is important. Make you web page publically accessible, and be prepared to show your web page and discuss your findings in class.