CPSC 683 - InfoVis

exploring information visualization



motion illusions and persistence of vision

I used this one as part of a keynote presentation at the Canadian eLearning Conference a few years ago – wound up having about 500 researchers and professionals sitting through a simulated LSD trip together. Highly recommended. Embiggen the image… Continue Reading →

Tallest Statues

source: https://www.pinterest.ca/pin/30891947425597906/ I like this visualization as it is easy to see the location where we can find the tallest statues. Also, this visualization shows sketches of the real statutes. It is helpful to identify the types tallest statues.

Political figures on the internet

source: http://www.visualnews.com/2017/06/12/analyzed-every-meme-internet/ Selecting image for this type of visualization is appropriate only if that picture is the widely circulated image on the internet. I do not like this visualization as the image did not improve the visualization.

Student debt

source: http://www.visualnews.com/2017/06/22/graduate-degree-gets-debt-fastest/ This graph averages the debt level for graduates. Also, I do not think absolute value of the debt level does not show in this graph. Thus, this graph does not show the yield for the investment of degrees.

Business or Personal

Shimin Wang, Yuzuru Tanahashi, Nick Leaf, and Kwan-Liu Ma. 2015. Design and Effects of Personal Visualizations. In IEEE Computer Graphics and Applications 35, 4, Pp. 82-93. DOI=10.1109/MCG.2015.74   This paper makes some really interesting points and highlights key differences in visualizations… Continue Reading →

Woods of Net

“Woods of Net” is by artist Toshiko Horiuchi and is a permanent installation at the Hakone Open-Air Museum in Hakone, Japan. Horiuchi knit the net by hand and created a 3D area for kids to go inside and explore. I think it’s a… Continue Reading →

photo map

The macOS Photos app has a really nice map view, using GPS location metadata from photos taken in a region. It’d be awesome to combine that with a timeline slider control… The clustering of photos taken near each other is… Continue Reading →

Data Cuisine Talk

November 17 Throwback to the class where were came up with a data dinner. A very interesting talk on data cuisine, getting into the details of  different data cuisine concepts. VERY COOL  

Vector Changes

Source Maybe I should have done something like this for my state visualization of reddits data. It’s the change in income of jobs between 2002, and 2016. It shows the changes using 2D vectors, which is exactly what I was… Continue Reading →

Radial Shapes?

  Source I don’t associate with soccer in any way, but I came across this visualization showing the 32 teams of the world cup. I’m gonna be honest and say I don’t really understand this visualization. This is my way… Continue Reading →

Password Visualization

Source Its interesting to see there’s even visualizations for how to encode a password. A simple 3×3 grid becomes an 9! + 8! + 7! + 6! + 5! + 4! + 3! + 2 (factorial) unit recorder. It’s possible… Continue Reading →

The Render Time…

Source NASA rendered this in a collab for boeing using the 17th most powerful computer in the world. “The simulation was run on 5,000 Pleiades cores and required over 1 million processor hours.” Some visualizations are so tough, that even… Continue Reading →

Checker Shadow Illusion

(https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Checker_shadow_illusion) This is the illusion I was mentioning in class – the checker shadow illusion is one of the more well known illusions based on shadow. Even though it does not seem like it, the “white” squares beneath the cylinder’s… Continue Reading →

Fading Image Illusion

(http://list25.com/25-incredible-optical-illusions/) Continuing on with optical illusions, this one is based on Troxler’s effect which essentially says that if you fixate your eyes on a certain point, stimuli near that point will gradually fade. Stare at the image for about 30 seconds… Continue Reading →

Crazy optical illusions

(http://cdn2.list25.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/11/optical.png) Pretty neat  

Timeline Colours

This was in a paper by Jagoda that we read for Lora’s class. While there are a variety of colours, some are fairly similar, and particularly where the bars are short, it’s difficult to read at times.

Rainbow done well

http://www.datapointed.net/visualizations/color/men-women-color-names-d3/ His and Hers Colors: Men, Women, And Two Thousand Color Names By Stephen Von Worley, September 1, 2010 The colors in this visualization represent themselves, the size of each dot the number of people who named said color, and… Continue Reading →

natural visualization

I saw this in an article on augmented reality and data visualization – almost all AR mockups show incredibly garish and vibrant artificial floating baubles, but this use of natural textures and shapes would fit much better in an AR… Continue Reading →

Floating Star

Serendipitously, after talking about visual illusions in class, I found this article on Twitter. It shows some of the more recent winning optical illusions. This one from 2012 was the coolest to me, but I admit that as I write… Continue Reading →

Project Ukko

November 16 “Project Ukko presents a novel way to spot patterns in seasonal wind prediction data. Understanding future wind conditions can become a crucial component block in supporting clean energy sources and climate change resilience.” – Truth & Beauty Operations


I was originally just looking for visual journal inspiration around my apartment, but the way the photo of this turned out makes me wonder if shadows or reflections could be used to assist information visualization in public places, for example…. Continue Reading →


My great-oma made this for me when I was born. It doesn’t exactly encode any data, but it’s interesting to think how needlepoint could be used for that. Something I might want to explore in the future!


I saw this online and it stuck out to me since it’s sort of related to my project data set. The colours represent the relative number of prisoners per 100,000 population. I’m curious which countries are the lighter ones without… Continue Reading →

The Media Cloud describes today’s media landscape

Visualization + Interaction with Neural Networks

http://playground.tensorflow.org My friend showed me this website and we spent a fair amount of time playing with the different node configurations to see how it affected the neural networks ability to learn. This is an awesome use of interaction to facilitate… Continue Reading →


Source This graph I find to be interesting since the author appears to have intentionally displayed the jobs which would produce an hourglass figure. Reinforced the idea that by manipulating and showing data, you can make it say anything you… Continue Reading →


Source I’ve always been fascinated by blueprints and their ability to convey real world objects in such a structured way. Everything is measured, indexed, and sorted into quick and easily identifiable tokens for pieces that are repeated.

New York Times Front Pages

I found this on Twitter, and I think it’s a super neat visual timeline. I do wish that it included years so I could figure out when pictures became more prevalent and expected on the front page.

meaningless scores

not sure I’ve ever had a perfect score in anything. the numbers. they mean nothing…

EPFL Data Monolith

November 15 “The EPFL Data Monolith presents an immersive data perspective on the complex microcosmos that constitutes university life. It is on display at the Data Square exhibition in the ArtLab building at the École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL)…. Continue Reading →

Activity Sculptures

Simon Stusak, Aurélien Tabard, Franziska Sauka, Rohit Ashok Khot, and Anreas Butz. 2014. Activity Sculptures: Exploring the Impact of Physical Visualizations on Running Activity. In IEEE Transactions on Visualization and Computer Graphics 20, 12. Pp. 2201-2210. I read this paper… Continue Reading →

Walmart Came to Conquer Apparently

(https://uxmag.com/articles/its-about-time) These freeze frame images show the (fast as heck) expansion of walmart in the US over the course of 34 years. Also hot damn Walmart, slow down a bit.

House Hunting All Day, Every Day

(https://uxmag.com/articles/its-about-time) The above is interactive heat map developed by Trulia based on a 3 month snapshot of all the window-shopping done on their website and mobile apps. Its pretty clean and well organized – and is able to show a… Continue Reading →


Be the beat with the VisiR Music Visualizer VisiR is a music visualizer integrated with virtual reality software. The beat detection and spectrum analyzers allow for a large number of ‘permutations and combinations’ for different lights, colors, and shapes. Basically… Continue Reading →

Myers Briggs

(https://www.16personalities.com/free-personality-test) I did my personality test this weekend and I got mediator. These aren’t my exact results, but they are pretty similar. After discussing with a friend, turns out that a few of her letters change every time she does… Continue Reading →

Spiral Staircase Pie Chart

(https://visual.ly/blog/wp-content/uploads/2013/09/3d-618×624.jpg) I think that this visualization is really gool in that it shows all of the pieces of the pie chart as their original size, and are layered so that they do not overlap each other, making it relatively clear… Continue Reading →

Carrot seeds as inspiration for viz

Lacking in 2D, Spectacular in 3D

(http://www3.sympatico.ca/blevis/Image41.gif) This image shows a 3D graph on a 2D screen, and it honestly looks extremely underwhelming. However, imagine this visualization in 3D, where you can walk around and view all of this information at the palm of your hand…. Continue Reading →


(www.liveplasma.com) This website is one of the coolest mconnection visualizations I’ve ever seen. Based on bands you like, you can see which ones are similar, how similar, and how they are connected. This is super helpful if you are looking… Continue Reading →

Time Trends… But What Does It Mean?

(https://public-media.interaction-design.org/images/ux-daily/578c6af5a6115.jpg) This image is really nice to look at, and it shows quite a bit of information. However, I’m not sure what it means? The labels are sort of clear, and there are points that draw the user’s attention, but… Continue Reading →

Simple Yet Complex

(https://www.kaushik.net/avinash/wp-content/uploads/2014/11/oil_consumption_treemap.png) This info vis shows a really simple idea – world oil consumption. However, when you actually look at it, it becomes really difficult to decipher because the cubes are oriented differently, thus making it really hard to tell which… Continue Reading →

Text Visualization

(https://www.presentation-process.com/wp-content/uploads/v-shaped-text-visualization.jpg) Since we were discussing text visualizations a couple weeks ago, I think that this is relatively appropriate. While this is a really simple sentence, I liked how the shape of the text expressed what it was saying, and I… Continue Reading →

Gapminder Map

(http://pages.vassar.edu/acs/files/2011/06/GWM2010.png) I did a project earlier this year which incorporates this information into a moving 3D visualization, but it did not show as much information as this stationary image does due to implementation effort. This is a really good reminder… Continue Reading →

not-stacked-bars to emphasize differences

I saw this on BoingBoing, looking at gender differentiation in US jobs. At first, I thought “hey! that’s not just a stacked bar chart! What an interesting way to present the data!” and then I looked more closely, and realized… Continue Reading →


I fond this image from the announcement gallery of the new Visual Journalism book (https://www.amazon.com/Visual-Journalism-Infographics-Newsrooms-Designers/dp/3899559193). This one appeared with no description, but I can gather from context that it’s from German newspaper Die Zeit and is called Kriegsjahre (“War Years”… Continue Reading →

Sound as Color

November 14 “Sound as Color is an exploration in converting audible frequencies to electromagnetic waves perceptible to human eye relative to that of the audible frequency range of the input sound signal.” – Ronnie Pence

Interacting with a blanket

After deciding on the embroidered blanket and brainstorming with various people throughout the week these are types of interactions I am considering. Pinning Buttons: What emotion do you see in the text? Do you agree with Watson on the tone? The… Continue Reading →

Observed vs Projection

source: https://ourworldindata.org/extreme-poverty/ The observed data and estimated has been visualized in single graph. I like that the range has been shown for predicted data. When deviate from the observed value, range has been increased. It indicates that the accuracy is low… Continue Reading →

Change of poverty

source: https://ourworldindata.org/extreme-poverty/ This graph shows the direction of the GDP change over time. However, increasing GDP per capita is a positive outcome while decreasing is negative outcome. I would try to highlight that using the width of the line etc. as… Continue Reading →

Correlation and partial correlation

source: http://diabetes.diabetesjournals.org/content/65/7/2039 This visualization shows the correlation, direction, and positive and negative relationship. However, when there are multiple links, it is difficult to identify the relationship. Dash line and solid line is difficult to distinguish too.

HIV-1 subtype B spread

source: https://www.nature.com/articles/nature19827   The overview map shows the origin. If overview map was not used, it is not possible to show other information in detail on US map. Also, arrows has been used to show few places and different type of… Continue Reading →

Image for legend

source: https://ourworldindata.org/extreme-poverty/ I like this graph as they have used symbol to show different groups. Y axis has five lines to divide the area to five. Aligning the key in each row provides good look the visualization.


This image is by photographer Bernhard Lang, and it’s gorgeous. It’s an aerial view of an Italian beach and I find it incredibly satisfying to look at. I don’t know how staged the colors or the even positioning of those… Continue Reading →

Massive error bars

From an article on the NYTimes, on a recent spike in fossil fuel emissions. CO2 Emissions Were Flat for Three Years. Now They’re Rising Again. https://nyti.ms/2jmn2V0

Film Flowers

  November 13 “top summer blockbusters reimagined as flowers” – Shirley Wu Check out the interactive data visualization here!

Volcano plot

source: http://diabetes.diabetesjournals.org/content/65/7/2039 It is common practice to change the scale of the data by converting log or other mathematical combination in order to visualize the relationship. In this graph has been named as volcano plot in the publication. I wonder whether… Continue Reading →

Australopith fossils

source: https://www.britannica.com/topic/Australopithecus I like this visualization as it includes multiple information in a chart. The heading includes the counties. Second row indicates the exact location of the and rest of the rows show time. Including image and labeling gives clear idea… Continue Reading →

Yoga Sun Salutation

I enjoy practicing yoga, and think this is an excellent representation of how to do the sun salutation (Surya Namaskar) routine. It is effective because it conveys the poses without any extra information and zero words. Source: https://vedicambassador.wordpress.com/2013/12/15/benefits-of-surya-namaskar-sun-salutation-yoga-asanas/

Pop-Flavoured Lip Smackers

As I kid, I really liked collecting lip smackers flavours. This was the chapstick that kids would get in each other’s birthday loot bags. I remember thinking that it was really cool when I first saw the pop flavoured ones…. Continue Reading →

Braille Information Representation

Braille is written communication for blind people. It is represented by embossed material either in paper or plastic (on public signs), etc. It is an information visualization alternative for people who communicate differently. For people who view it visually can… Continue Reading →

Guitar Chords Visual

I enjoy playing music, and the most recent instrument that I am attempting to learn is the guitar, so I am familiar with seeing this kind of thing. This is an effective way of conveying which finger goes on which… Continue Reading →

almost interactive data

I spent the day wrestling with ChartJS, and slowly remembering how to iterate through arrays and build things that do stuff. I’m pretty out of practice. What an eye-opener. I need to build things more often. Anyway. This is almost… Continue Reading →

Let’s get physical! #5

Stacked graph with text to embroidered blanket?

So much data

Didn’t quite understand what the vis was about because it’s another language, however, look at all that data.  Check out the use of so many different scales.  This thing is packed full of goodness.

Earth’s Population

Normally when using a map to visualize data, the visualization can be misleading because of the size of the country taking up more space. On this map “each yellow cell represents a 3-by-3 mile area of land with a population… Continue Reading →

Vacation Visualization

November 12 “4,000 photos over 13 trips, their colors visualized. Further experimentation in color.” – Shirley Wu Check out this interactive visualization here!  


In case anyone was wondering how chinook winds happen, this is it! And hopefully we get a lot of this this winter. I’m surprised at the altitude required for it. I would have expected it to be higher.

energy usage as proxy for activity

Enlighted has an energy monitoring tool that can be used to map “hot spots” in a building. This could probably be mapped onto occupancy/availability pretty easily. Combine it with RF signal mapping to figure out where wifi devices are throughout… Continue Reading →


Truly depressing. Can I just live on another planet please? Source given at bottom of image.

Coffee Cloud

This seemed appropriate to post given our recent discussions of how word clouds are terrible. This stuck out to me as topical mainly because I’m writing this while sitting in a Starbucks. This shows the words used in their Global… Continue Reading →

Let’s get physical! #4

scattered star graph to stacked star candle holder

My view of sliding snow from inside airplane hangar.


I love pictures of notebooks and sketchbooks–I feel like they give insight into the development of thought that you just can’t get digitally (as well as showing the experience of life like bending of paper and coffee stains). This is… Continue Reading →

Visualizing DDR

November 11 A data visualization of every DDR song from their step charts (varying in difficulty) http://sxywu.com/ddr/

Chinese Characters

(https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/9/99/Hanzi.svg/1200px-Hanzi.svg.png) I always found it interesting that written language managed to diverge so much during its development. Chinese characters are completely different from the scripts used in the west. Its almost as if different emphasis were placed on aesthetics and… Continue Reading →


(https://cdn.shopify.com/s/files/1/1003/7610/files/Banksy-No-Future_f50f7679-5c1b-4716-8a54-856fa275b95b.jpg?5135930552169596236) I love how Bansky’s pieces are always able to convey hidden criticisms to society. Even though their designs are simple, they really make you stop and look.

Escher’s Metamorphosis

Escher was a graphics artist who was known for his mathematical pieces. The above is his Metamorphosis print, and it is incredible how detailed he managed to make each quadrant while also allowing them to seamlessly shift into one another.


(http://mesosyn.com/reflectionArt-02.jpg) I just thought this piece looked really cool.

Let’s get physical! #3

@Copper suggested this during the speed dating class. Each sentence maps to a unique line segment and the line segments move in a direction base on the emotional analysis. This could be done with augmented reality or wire/plastic.

heatmap of big matrices

I’m trying a new heatmap library that was developed for visualizing genetic and cancer data. It looks like it could be really useful for my dataset…

Volunteer map makers in London map areas in Malawi during a Mapathon

Collective Debate

This 3D line chart comes at the end of a collective debate experience by MIT, in which they ask you about your morals and scale your results by how much you care about Harm, Fairness, Ingroup, Authority, and Purity. Then… Continue Reading →

Explore Adventure

November 10 Visualizing travel search results by locations from around the world. http://explore-adventure.com


This is a visualization of happiness across the states. It’s interesting that the west is happier. I wonder why that is. (Also from r/dataisbeautiful).


I was perusing r/dataisbeautiful again and I came across this visualization of cows per person in 2017. I guess this is useful for people in farming and agriculture but it’s so far removed from my life that I just found… Continue Reading →

Let’s get physical! #2

Topic Swirl in a block of plastic vs Topic grouping blobs

Malaria No More Scarf

This scarf is a physicalization by Giorgia Lupi that shows the lives saved by Malaria no more. It’s sort of a timeline in which each square of color represents the data at that particular year. Her original sketches, which you… Continue Reading →

Protein Taxonomy Viewer

https://rostlab.org/services/biojs/gsoc.html Proteins are building blocks of our body and is responsible for many functions such as growth and repair of the cell, signal generation, etc. So, the study of proteins for different types of species is vital for scientific advancements…. Continue Reading →

Data Visualization in Korea

2014 Good Neighbors business plans and budgets by Vice Versa (https://www.moma.org/explore/inside_out/2015/12/10/data-visualization-design-and-the-art-of-depicting-reality/) Data visualization in Korea hasn’t completely burst through at the moment, as not many works in the field have been published along the years. There are a few Korean… Continue Reading →

Keeping the map ball rolling

Thought this was an interesting visualization.  First, it reminded me of Winamp (I think that’s how it was spelled), anyone remember that puppy?  None the less, I thought this was a cool spin on data visualization in the 3d sense. … Continue Reading →

Another map vis

Another map visualization that utilizes this “texturing” / 3d technique but in a different sort of way.  Here we have a view of all the streams and rivers throughout the US.  It uses open source QGIS software to pull in… Continue Reading →

Map Visualization

  Lately, I’ve been looking at visualizing data on maps.  This was actually one idea I had in mind – very similar, it was interesting when today, I came across this.  I don’t have the skills necessary at this point… Continue Reading →

deck.gl geo viz from uber

some great looking geospatial visualizations are possible with this toolkit. You know. if you’re into mapping data onto maps. http://uber.github.io/deck.gl/#/documentation/layer-catalog/hexagon-layer full toolkit available on github: http://uber.github.io/deck.gl/

The Most Translated Words

  November 9 Visualizing the most translated words in an interactive data visualization. Check it out here!


Truthfully, I just liked the aesthetics of this viz.

Jobs – Recession

This visualization looks at different sectors and respective jobs.  Plotted over time.  Pretty nifty use of the sort of double stacked bar chart.

Interactive Streamgraph

Using StreamGraph to display temporal features. How do you add some interactivity to this visualization??

Global Language Network

  The Macro Connections Group at MIT Media Lab released Global Language Network, an interactive visualization of the world’s many languages and their relationships to each other. Most Languages derive from English? I cannot find my language in this mix!

Visualizing an Ancient Roman Town

Researchers have been able to develop a set of data to visually reconstruct an ancient town as it existed in its time. The visual results, and the information gained from it, have been nothing short of astounding……….

Using Visualization to increase the number of Students with STEM degrees

Visualizing the number of enrollments and drop out from STEM subjects to drive degree completion

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