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This is the cover of the book Atlas of the Invisible: Maps and graphics that will change how you see the world by James Cheshire and Oliver Uberti.

Book Review: Atlas of the Invisible

Normally, I wouldn't expect to be reading an "atlas" for work. But, when Evelina Judeikyte called Atlas of the Invisible "one of [her] favourite discoveries this year!," I had to check it out. And I'm so glad I did! When…

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This is a photo of the cover of the book Lines, Bars and Circles: How William Playfair Invented Graphs. It was written by Helaine Becker and illustrated by Marie-Eve Tremblay. It was an illustration of a man in colonial clothing, lounging on a line graph, with a bar graph in the background. The book is next to some crayons and a drawing of a line graph.

Book Review: Lines, Bars and Circles

The first time I remember hearing about William Playfair was in W. E. B. Du Bois's Data Portraits. Playfair was credited with inventing the line graph, bar graph, and pie chart. WHAT?! William, where have you been all my life?!*…

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This is a photo of the book W E B Du Bois's Data Portraits, Visualizing Black America, edited by Whitney Battle-Baptiste and Britt Rusert. It shows a colorful spiral graph from the book. Next to the book are six markers in colors that match the graph.

Book Review: W. E. B. Du Bois’s Data Portraits

Until recently, I didn't know much about W. E. B. Du Bois. The intersection of my grade school education with my not-fabulous memory left me with only the vague knowledge that he was a 19th-century, African American intellectual. But then…

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This image says data visualization for, then an icon of a paint brush and palette, versus, then an icon of a head with gears for a brain.

Data Visualization for Art vs. Understanding

Every once in a while, a very small group gets overtaken by a big controversy. A couple of weeks ago, that very small group was data visualization professionals and enthusiasts, and the controversy was this: (The full New York Times…

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This is the cover of the picture book The Great Graph Contest by Loreen Leedy.

Book Review: The Great Graph Contest

Is there an elementary school teacher on your holiday shopping list? If so, check out Loreen Leedy's The Great Graph Contest! This picture book features Gonk (a toad) and Beezy (a lizard) as they compete to create the best* graphs…

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This is a picture of a gavel, with the words Legal Visuals, Fluffy or Functional.

Legal Visuals: Fluffy or Functional?

Professional areas like science and law are dominated by written and spoken communication. For scientists, peer-reviewed journal articles and scientific conference presentations are the flagship communication formats. And then legal professionals spend much of their time reading and writing legal…

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This is a photo of a book cover: Good Charts, by Scott Berinato.

Book Review: Good Charts

I’ve had Scott Berinato’s Good Charts on my bookshelf for a couple of years and finally had a chance to read it in June. I read a decent pile of research communication books and articles each year, and the same…

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This graph builds on the previous one, replacing the nine dots with nine football shapes.

On Decoration and Design

Before I started Data Soapbox, I was a practicing researcher. I designed research studies and collected, analyzed, and reported the data. As time went on, I got more and more interested in the reporting part of my job, to the…

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