Storytelling with Data

As we delve into ways to represent data in space we will investigate a variety of maps including symbol maps, cluster maps, chart maps and 3D map projections. We will also discuss the use of legends, keys, symbols and colors before we roll up our sleeves and attempt making our own story-maps with open source software.

“Data are measurements of something.” — Jer Thorp, software artist

In Week 5 we will then turn to examining the intersections of time and data. Edward Tufte says that this is a balance between the representation of mechanism and motion, of process and dynamics, of causes and effects, of explanation and narrative. We will apply this thinking to draw out the telling details of a story/history as we create timelines with open source tools.

“How can we see, to learn? — Edward Tufte, visualization designer

For Project 2 you will choose  Option 1) Mapping Data in Space or Option 2) Mapping Data in Time. You will create a map of data in space or time. To accompany your data display you will write a 300-500 word descriptive essay, helping the audience engage with your data. Use at least three of the sources from the course material in your essay (MLA formatting).

Week 4 

September 20 Tools: Textalyser Grammarly ;  l write like;  Hemingway; 750 words; Wait But Why posts: Life Weeks and The Tail EndDear Data (in which you will measure a particular type of data about your everyday life and produce a small illustration). More on Data DiaryDear Data video; Dear Data (longer video)  ; Lynda Barry 6 minute diaryData Basic;

September 22 Reading: Yau,Visualize This – PDF Chapter 2 on Handling Data. What is Data Visualization (video); Tufte (video); Humanities Approaches to Graphical Display, Johanna Drucker, 2011. 10 Best Data Visualizations of 2015;  MapsData; Storymap JS; Kartograph;; Highmaps; More; And MoreDefining Data for Humanists: Text, Artifact, Information or Evidence? Trevor Owens, 2011. Which Chart How to Tell a Story with Data. Collaborative map making activity; Joni Seager on MapsWriting With Maps; Creating a Data Map; Mapping Data in Space examples; Activity with Timeline JS 

Week 5

September 27 Reading Presentation: The Inevitable Chapters 4-6. Mapping Data in Time examples: Datavis Gallery; A Timeline of Timelines; Nancy Duarte on SparklinesSparkline Generator; Tufte on Sparklines ; Video on the Beauty of Data Visualization; Salary Vs PerformanceZipcode; Robin Hood;  More Fathom Projects;  Tool -> Video how toRaw Data app; (Sample datasets to try here)

September 29 Taryn Simon on Storylines; Simon’s Exhibit; Finding a Story worksheets; Which ChartRaw Data ; (Sample datasets to try here)

Week 6

October 4 Work on projects; rubric discussion

October 6 Drafts due at the beginning of class; ELI Peer-editing day; Revised projects due Monday October 10 at midnight.

Mapping Data in Space examples

Walking New York Sonny Rollins’s favorite corner of the Williamsburg Bridge. The best can-collecting route in Bushwick. Scroll down for New Yorkers’ most memorable walks in the city, and contribute your own.

How Isis Expands The group, also known as ISIS or ISIL, has taken over key cities in Iraq and Syria. It is operating or has cells in more than a dozen countries, and aims to build a broad colonial empire across many more.

The World According To China Here’s where China has the most influence, based on its share of foreign investment since 2005.

How Family Income Affects Children’s College Chances How likely is it that children who grow up in very poor families go to college? How about children who grow up in very rich families?

Mapping Data in Time examples

Charlie Hebdo Shooting A visual timeline of the attack on the offices of Charlie Hebdo, a satirical newspaper, and the events that followed.

Syria After Four Years of Mayhem A four-year conflict has dismembered Syria, inflaming the region with one of the world’s worst religious and sectarian wars. Most of its major cities are in shambles, and more than 200,000 people have been killed.

Hurricane Patricia Visualizing the Size and Strength of Hurricane Patricia


Visualize This The Flowing Data Guide to Design, Visualization, and Statistics. Indianapolis, IN: Wiley, 2011. Yau, Nathan. (Excerpt)

Duarte, Nancy. Resonate: Present Visual Stories That Transform Audiences. Hoboken, NJ: Wiley, 2010. (Excerpt on Sparklines)Tufte on Sparklines

Murray, Scott. Interactive Data Visualization for the Web. Sebastapol, CA: O’Reilly Media, 2013. (Excerpt)

Rosenberg, Daniel. “A Timeline of Timelines.” CABINET. Issue 13 (2004).

Bodenhammer, David. Deep Maps and Spatial Narratives: the-potential-for-spatial-humanities Bloomington, IN: Indiana. University Press, 2015. (Excerpt, Chapter 2)

Fry, Ben. Visualizing Data: Exploring and Explaining Data with the Processing Environment (Scatterplot Maps). Sebastapol, CA: O’Reilly Media, 2008. (Excerpt)

Moretti, Franco. Graphs, Maps and Trees: Abstract Models for Literary History. Verso, 2007. (Excerpt)

Tufte, Edward. The Visual Display of Quantitative Information. Cheshire, CT: GraphicsPress, 2001. Excerpt

Yau, Nathan. Data Points: Visualizations that Mean Something. Indianapolis, IN: Wiley, 2013. (Excerpt) Visualize This -PDF 

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