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Showing posts from June, 2009

IV and the news: Iran election data

As thousands and perhaps millions take to the streets in Tehran to protest Iran's (alleged) election fraud, the UK's Guardian goes nitty-gritty, posting a data set of polling results.*

The paper ends its report thus: "Can you do something with this data? Please post us your visualisations and mash-ups below or mail us at ."

Its story also links to data maps from and Iran Tracker. (Elsewhere at Fivethirtyeight, Nate Silver considers the statistical analysis that ostensibly proves the election was rigged -- in other words, the basis of the protestors' unrest.)

Here's the direct link to the election data, in case anyone out there feels like having a go at it; I hope I'll have some time to muck around with it myself.
DATA: Full Iranian election results by province including turnouts and 2005 results. Download them as a spreadsheet.
*Per the story: "The figures we've uploaded are, as far as we can work out, the …

Business Week on Tufte:
"Invisible Yet Ubiquitous Influence"

Along with Fast Company (and me), Business Week asserts that good information graphics and info design have business value. An admiring profile of Edward Tufte — with accompanying slide show, natch — is featured in BW's recent "Voices of Innovation" package:
Next to a bad example of a graph, he positions a sublimely clear treatment, often using the same data. Simple as it sounds, the effect has proved to be riveting for a generation of nonprofessional designers. Tufte's work is relevant to anyone who needs to write or present information clearly, from business executives to students.   In dismantling some of the worst habits of two-dimensional design, he has framed new analytical terms that flicker through many design conservations [sic]*. * Conventions? Conversations? Or something else? And, more important, have any readers out there recently had a "design conversation" at work? (Media folks, you're DQ'd, sorry.) Do tell.

I want to be Jorge Camoes when I grow up.

Portuguese infoviz enthusiast Jorge Camoes has spent the last year and a half writing informed, insightful blog posts on the field, complete with examples and citations. To his credit, he approaches everything -- even the revered work of Edward Tufte and Stephen Few -- with loving skepticism. I'm gratified, too, that he seems to agree with me on one central point: Snazzy tools alone don't get you good data visualization. It all comes down to putting serious thought into the project before you plot the first data point. In future posts we'll discuss more of Jorge's ideas. Bem feito, o Sr. Camoes!