[E–pub Free] (The Visual Display of uantitative Information)

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Can read the first 50 alone and get the idea Given that I m a bit taken aback and yet strangely curious to have discovered that Tufte has managed to produce at Shakespeare least three disparate volumesHowever I ve sinceearned that Tufte has some serious and seriously earned followers Just BWWM (Interracial Romance BWWM African American Multicultural Romance) last week on the theory of in for a penny in for a pound I attended a program on improving data analytics and was pulled aside at the end by one of the organizers who spotted my copy of The Visual Display An important book he sagely nodded You should have them all But check out Steven Few s perceptualedgecom he continued That s where the rubber really meets the roadOkay fineeave me alone I swear that I Seers Stone (Hidden Alchemy ll neverook at another pie chart again just don t make me give up my dependence on the color copier Although originally published in 1983 when professional graphics artists prepared most of the charts and graphs used in presentations and official publications this book remains useful for anyone who wishes to convey information clearly and concisely I can remember a job early in my career when all presentations had to be approved by two Caveman Alien’s Riddle (Caveman Aliens, levels of management then submitted to the graphics shop ateast a week before they were to be used and what came back was an inter office envelope full of transparencies to be shown on an overhead projector We have come a Teaching white South African literature in high school long way since then but powerful graphics software has not necessarily improved our ability to get the message across in an understandable and informative wayTufte starts with some history of the statistical graph It took aong time for people to make the conceptual A Wish Your Heart Makes leap from a uantity to an abstract visual representation of that uantity as aine or a bar positioned between several axes The first charts were derived from maps but maps had existed for five thousand years before charts and graphs appeared in the 1700sBy the 20th century newspapers magazines and business and government publications all included graphics but they were often done ineptly because they were created by artists not the people who understood the data At the core of the preoccupation with deceptive graphics was the assumption that data graphics were mainly devices for showing the obvious to the ignorant p 53 The book has many egregiously bad examples some of which appeared to be deliberately deceptive such as hiding a business Agricultural Development: An International Perspective (Johns Hopkins Studies in Development) loss by making the y axis start below zero and some just incompetently done apparently by graphics artists who wanted to make a pretty picture without theeast understanding of what the data meant Inept graphics also flourish because many graphic artists believe that statistics are boring and tedious It then follows that decorated graphics must pep up animate and all too often exaggerate what evidence there is in the data p 79The book s value comes from the fact that Tufte has a number of specific recommendations for how to present data and he cites good examples as well as bad The defining graphic in the book is Charles Joseph Minard s 1861 graph showing fate of Napoleon s army in Russia It is a powerful image telling the story of an army withering away on the march to and from Moscow It manages to plot multiple variables on a two dimensional page the size of the army its Loves Abuse Warrior Camp location in Russia the direction of the army s movement dates of specific events and temperatures along the route of retreat Once seen the graph is unforgettableThere is also another brilliant example a graph by EJ Marey showing train schedules from Paris to Lyon in the 1880s At first itooks Contemporary African literature like a jumble of broken diagonalines but then it resolves itself The slope of the ine indicates the speed of the train the horizontal breaks show where the train is stopped at a station the x axis shows the time of the trip at start finish and points along the way and the y axis the towns the train passes through A great deal of information is packed into a simple easy to read image The train schedules put out by Amtrak today are far ess intuitive and informativeTufte s recommendations boil down one word simplify He coined the word chartjunk and recommends paring everything down to its essentials His fundamental precepts areFive principles in the theory of data graphics produce substantial changes in graphical design The principles apply to many graphics and yield a series of design options through cycles of graphical revision and editingAbove all else show the dataMaximize the data ink ratioErase non data inkErase redundant data inkRevise and editp 105Somewhere along the way in my career I came to internalize some of Tufte s ideas without knowing I was doing so Whenever I saw a presentation filled with clipart with animated dancing whatevers with unnecessary three dimensional charts and distracting bright colors I concluded that the presenter was either an idiot or was actively trying to hide something the viewer wasn t supposed to notice Subseuent events usually proved me rightIf there is one thing that Tufte hates above all else it is the pie chart the only worse design than a pie chart is several of them for then the viewer is asked to compare uantities ocated in spatial disarray both within and between pies p178 Since they only display a small number of data points anyway you are better off making a simple number chartThis book is worth reading and will make you think about how to off making a simple number chartThis book is worth reading and will make you think about how to present your information Some of the examples he provides are old including a couple that were certainly created on ancient dot matrix printers but his advice remains excellent For those interested in his additional ideas about graphics presentation he also wrote Envisioning Information 1990 and Visual Explanations Images and uantities Evidence and Narrative 1997. On of The Visual Display of uantitative Information Recently published this new edition provides excellent color reproductions of the many graphics of William Playfair adds color to other images and includes all the changes and corrections accumulated during 17 printings of the first editio. The Visual Display of uantitative Information

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25 stars I read this book because 1 as a scientist I care a ot about visualizing information in ways that are both meaningful and attractive and 2 this book is hailed as a classic and cited by many when discussing what constitutes a good graphic After eying it on many coffee tables and office bookshelves I finally decided to pick it up from the Alt 38 Environmental Transformations library I m glad that I didn t buy it There are some positives a few inspiring examples of creative precise designs that tell a story and reveal insights about the data Some of the negative examples graphs that exaggerate or obscure the data or that are heavy handed and ugly are also useful to think about and are occasionally very funny I alsoiked how it touched on the history and evolution of different types of graphs However a major flaw is the Academic Skills lack of thought that was put into the writing Many of the axioms that Tufte proposes for graphics could eually well apply to writing For example don t patronize your audience and don t waste ink on non information Tufte unfortunately goes against both these principles with his disdainful verbose tone A great deal of verbiage and jargon could be stripped away to yield a text with much higher information density to use his own term The advice presented is reasonable but much of it is just common sense for anyone who s paid aittle attention to elementary mathstatistics or who simply takes the time to ook at graphs and think about how they could be improved He also contradicts his own advice about providing adeuate explanation for plots by offering zero explanation for several plots that are nearly inscrutable beyond saying this is great or this is silly His attitude towards artists is especially belittling I was hoping for a thoughtful take on the balance between beauty and practicality in graphic design All in all I think this the book has some smart points and good images but not uite enough to warrant its position on a pedestal People have told me to read this book for years and I ve always been impressed by the strength of their recommendationsHowever on reading this book I was initially underwhelmed I felt ike Tufte was just rehashing common sense about graphs I read through it and found myself saying yeah yeah I get it On reflection a week after finishing I realized this book is genius Tufte concisely and clearly articulates principles which should be common sense so well that they have appearance to be common sense One sentence summaryThe graphical analogue of Elements of Style obvious avoid junk useless contradictory and wrongDon t understand the hype about this book it s super outdated refers mainly to hand drawn ish charts and considering most of use standard tools to create our visualizations not sure how we re supposed to actually implement his suggestions and a ot of the advice and good examples Marey s train schedule Come on are horrible and even contradictory at one point he bemoans Chernoff faces and ater exhibits them in an exemplarIgnore Part 1 the first three chapters entirely Skim the restTwo principles1 Maximize data ink ratio2 Avoid chartjunk eg moire grids and ducksApply these two principles1 Redesign box plot not sure if I agree though the redesigned box plot does We Are Each Others Harvest look elegant2 Scatterplot range frame3 Multifunctioning graphical elements eg stem andeaf plot4 Graphics should tend to the horizontal When I started secondary school I was mildly apprehensive about physics an unfamiliar word that elicited an actual shudder from started secondary school I was mildly apprehensive about physics an unfamiliar word that elicited an actual shudder from mother Fortunately my elderly teacher had an infectious affection for his subject I remember that he noticed me examining the monthly night sky chart pinned to the classroom door and thereafter would print off an extra copy specially and wordlessly hand it to me if he saw me in the corridor never in class not wishing to embarrass me Our first They Left Great Marks on Me lessons tried to tell us what the subject was all about and a poetic but confusing article telling me that it was about among other things not being able to push a blade of grass into the trunk of an oak tree demonstrated clearly that some things are betterearned by seeing and doing than by readinghe needn t have worried evidence of my geekiness was not in short supplyOne of our early experiments was The One With The Pendulum turns out that in the UK this is an A Deans and Truants level practical I guess in those days secondary school wasn t all OMG exam in 5 years PANIC and our homework was to write it up When I had finished it I must have shown my Dad as he asked why there was no graph We weren t told to draw a graph I replied But graphs are wonderful he said Let s draw one anyway and he showed me how Our graph which is probably still in my parents attic somewhere plottedength Of Pendulum Against Swing Time pendulum against swing time unfortunately yields an exponential curve that s hard to work with You can when you do the experiment at A Talking About Trees levelinearise that s hard to work with You can when you do the experiment at A Alien Contact levelinearise graph s euation by plotting the suare of the time period and then the gradient tells us The Rules of Engagement for Overcoming Your Past little g the strength of the Earth s gravitational field Neat ehI have taught science for a few years now and I could not have failed to notice that many kids hate graphs and graph drawing It is unuestionably hard work and needs an understandi The booked was one of the most enlightening books that I ve every read I ve always had a penchant for using numbers images and heuristics to explain and began taking Edward Tufte s courses when the opportunity arose starting in 1998 He held them in hotel ballrooms throughout the United States and his followers attended with cult ike repetition sometimes registering for the same course 6 times in one yearEdward Tufte is one of the most elegant designers of information alive today the book was the beginning of my devotion to The classic book on statistical graphics charts tables Theory and practice in the design of data graphics 250 illustrations of the best and a few of the worst statistical graphics with detailed analysis of how to display data for precise effective uick analysis Design of the high resolution. .
Is philosophy of the visual articulation of facts figures and abstract concepts This book This is a book about graphsHow you ask could anyone write a book about graphs et alone read one Surely you ve never found the sex appeal of a bar chart the seductiveness of a scatterplot Well my friend you simply have never realized the power of a well designed graph Tufte took on the challenge of making visual information interesting decades ago and it s still considered one of the top 100 books of the 20th century He shows examples of what the best displays and worst displays are in the first part of the book In the second he breaks down graphs piece by piece as the reader Hair Raising: Beauty, Culture, and African American Women learns how to construct a useful and informative graph chart table or whathaveyou The best graphs etc aren t flashy You don t need any fancy computers to make them in fact Tufte particularly disdains computer programs for making everything busy and excessive As is true of most things inife the idea behind a graph is far important and interesting than how it Say It Plain A Century of Great African American Speeches looks A good display conveys that information almost instinctively and makes relationships clear A poor display hides non ideas behind graphics andabels A terrible display actually distorts information and to Tufte these are inexcusable Saving Spring lies Even though theikelihood of me making a chart in the near future is slim I was surprised by how much thought it takes to develop a good display I also think it made me a better display reader something that comes in handy when reading the paper or watching the Colbet Report Above all this book reinforces the primary rule of communication start with a good idea and edit it down until only what s necessary remains Entertaining and illustrative Tufte shows strong examples of both elegant and ghastly designs taking several opportunities to improve the Making the Corn Belt: A Geographical History of Middle-Western Agriculture latter with surgical erasure These examples form the basis for a set of now canonized principlesThe only part I really disagreed with was the beginning of chapter 6 wherein the author proposes revising the box plot design by reducing it to a mere point floating between twoines with only white space to represent the size of the interuartile range It Rightsizing the Academic Library Collection looks roughlyike this The author argues that this is preferable because it eliminates all non data ink I would counter that the box aspect of the box plot is crucial to understanding the data at a glance and that the white space makes interpretation harder on the reader However I m pleased to say that this is the only deviation from sound design in the book Edward Tufte is brilliant His books including this one are artwork disguised as a textbook The purpose of all three is to explain both good and bad ways of explaining information but they are so much than that There is a rich history interwoven in the books pages The examples are so interesting that I found myself Neglect-The Silent Abuser learning than just how to convey information For example one of the best graphics for conveying information ever made is a chartmap tracking Napoleon Bonaparte s army s march across Europe which is so impressive it s difficult to describe The graph includes information about army sizeocation and timeline in a very readable straightforwd and yet still beautiful way I was fortunate enough to attend one of his seminars after I was already a fan my work paid for it and I got to keep the books which delves into all of his texts I highly recommend it because he synthesizes the information beautifully and succinctly recommend it because he synthesizes the information beautifully and succinctly you get all of his books and publications in print If you can t make the seminar no I do not get any kickbacks promise the books are rather complex but they are absolutely stunning and make fascinating reading Well 3 12 stars really but GoodReads won t permit that Don t Academia Dream let the horrifically dull title fool you Edward Tufte knows a thing or two about chart design to say theeast he s built a second career on this obsession Think this is dull stuff Ha and again I say ha It s darn sexy Don t believe me Consider this conseuence of the era of optimism or this version of Little Red Riding Hood or this nifty day in the ife or this graphic design shop which is such a brilliant specialist in the whimsical nifty day in the ife or this graphic design shop which is such a brilliant specialist in the whimsical nostalgic info graphic style that They Might Be Giants commissioned them to produce everything from the iner notes to Mink Car to the flash animations embedded on No to their website TMBGcomAnd Tufte s book has its share of worthwhile Aha moments as well Take this snippet from p 20 which follows six maps of the continental US depicting various types of cancer over a 19 year period by sex and county Tufte points out the clarity and key moments of interest in the various images such as rates in areas where you have ived and then critiues The maps repay careful study Notice how uickly and naturally our attention has been directed toward exploring the substantive content of the data rather than toward uestions of methodology and techniue Nonetheless the maps do have their flaws They wrongly euate the visual importance of each county with its geographic area rather than with the number of people Alcohol y Creación living in the county or the number of cancer deaths Our visual impression of the data is entangled with the circumstance of geographic boundaries shapes and areas the chronic problem afflicting shaded in area designs of such blot maps or patch maps He goes on to further dissect the presentation and the foundational data in a way that I would never have dreamed of Talk about your perfectionists these map examples were drawn by himAt any rate this book is all about comprehensible usable design and Tufte even designed it for maximum impact Its slim girth a mere 190 pages is chock full of historic graphical errors and successes but you. Displays small multiples Editing and improving graphics The data ink ratio Time series relational graphics data maps multivariate designs Detection of graphical deception design variation vs data variation Sources of deception Aesthetics and data graphical displays This is the second editi.