Recent Posts

Range plots ≠ dot plots

5 minute read , Posted on July 14, 2018, by Carl V. Lewis

Range plots always have seemed a bit elitist to me. It’s one of those types of charts that people who want to show how skilled they are at visualization use.

Using CartoDB to visualize the relationship between private prisons and incarceration rates

7 minute read , Posted on April 17, 2017, by Carl V. Lewis

The last post I wrote about CartoDB used the CartoDB API and Leaflet.js to produce a hover tooltip map of census data. Looking back, while it’s quite useful to learn CartoDB’s API, it’s now possible to achieve those same visual cues and interactivity without spending time wading through complex, undocumented JavaScript.

Defending interactive visualization and data journalism against the cult of the static and the simplistic

2 minute read , Posted on April 17, 2017, by Carl V. Lewis

Tufte’s illustration of what he famously dubbed ‘The Flatland’ –– the two-dimensional, static and shallow state of information graphics –– in his 1980 work Envisioning Information In Dec. 2014, the Economist boldly proclaimed in its popular “Graphic Detail” blog that “the genre of interactive visualization is leaping ahead of static charts . . . Online, interactive charts will become the norm, nudging aside paper-based, static ones.” The proclamation from the British-based, internationally-circulated newsweekly was hardly...

Developing an open standard for municipal procurement data

1 minute read , Posted on April 17, 2017, by Carl V. Lewis

When we talk about redundancy and inefficiency in municipal governments, we almost always come back to the complex topic of procurement. That’s why we need open standards for procurment policies more than ever.

Webinar-Data Viz 101 Transforming Raw Data Into Interactive Stories With Little To No Coding Knowledge

1 minute read , Posted on April 20, 2016, by Carl V. Lewis

Just a quick note that I’ll be teaching a webinar sponsored by PBS MediaShift on data visualization basics at 1 p.m. today. Join in if you’re interested. We’ll cover the basics and best practices of interactive data viz, as well as look at some tools that can make visualization faster when in a time crunch. Here are just a few of those tools.

Using to analyze and visualize data dynamically

6 minute read , Posted on July 04, 2014, by Carl V. Lewis

It’s been a while since I’ve had the leisure to play with new open-source tools for data journalism. It’s been even longer since I’ve written a tutorial. Today I wanted to explore a fairly WYSIWYG web app Plotly. Although most of the features on face value appear to be not much more than what you can do in Google Visualization Playground or an open-source library like Highcharts.js – basic chart types on-the-fly, hover interactions –...

Making the case for the “post-platform” journalist

4 minute read , Posted on June 15, 2014, by Carl V. Lewis

Yesterday, I presented a five-minute lightning talk at the Center for Collaborative Journalism on what I’m tentatively calling the “post-platform” journalist. From “print journalist”, to “data journalist”, to “multimedia journalist” and even to “social journalist,” it seems as though the qualifiers that often get placed before the word “journalist” abound in almost cliche numbers. Each of these “types” of journalism typically seek to clarify the platform in which the individual tells the story rather than the content...

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