Thursday, May 12, 2016

Visualization's expanding vocabulary

This morning I received a long e-mail by Nick Cox, a lecturer at the University of Durham. He sent me many detailed and thoughtful comments on The Truthful Art. My reply was that if we had met before, I'd have asked him to be a technical reviewer, along the ones I mention in the Acknowledgments section (Stephen Few, Heather Krause, Diego Kuonen, Jerzy Wieczorek, etc.) Nick has also kindly written a positive —but critical— review in Amazon.com.

Anyway, the interchange we had over e-mail led me to check Nick's articles in the Stata Journal. He has written extensively about visualization in statistics, and plenty of his papers can be accessed for free*. Here's an example; it describes mosaic plots and spineplots, graphic forms that I don't cover in my books. It reminded me of how large the vocabulary of visualization already is, and how fast it can expand in the future if designers of all backgrounds keep imagining new ways of displaying information.

* Those that were published three years ago or more. See the complete list.

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