Spreadsheets and other data visualizations

2019-01-31

Data

“Maps are data”

Maps are locations where people store and retrieve information about how the world around them is structured. In what they show and what they don’t show, you can see the worldview of the people who created them.

“Spreadsheets are data visualizations.”

In what it shows and what it doesn’t, you can see the worldview of the people who created it. Every data set is like a map of what’s important; you can read it like a map for its history.

Mark 1 computer

Mark 1 computer

Grace Murray Hopper, 1960

$ SET SOURCEFORMAT"FREE"
IDENTIFICATION DIVISION.
PROGRAM-ID.  Iteration-If.
AUTHOR.  Michael Coughlan.

DATA DIVISION.
WORKING-STORAGE SECTION.
01  Num1           PIC 9  VALUE ZEROS.
01  Num2           PIC 9  VALUE ZEROS.
01  Result         PIC 99 VALUE ZEROS.
01  Operator       PIC X  VALUE SPACE.

PROCEDURE DIVISION.
Calculator.
PERFORM 3 TIMES
DISPLAY "Enter First Number      : " WITH NO ADVANCING
ACCEPT Num1
DISPLAY "Enter Second Number     : " WITH NO ADVANCING
ACCEPT Num2
DISPLAY "Enter operator (+ or *) : " WITH NO ADVANCING
ACCEPT Operator
IF Operator = "+" THEN
ADD Num1, Num2 GIVING Result
END-IF
IF Operator = "*" THEN
MULTIPLY Num1 BY Num2 GIVING Result
END-IF
DISPLAY "Result is = ", Result
END-PERFORM.
STOP RUN.

Ledger books

Ledger books

Levy:

the spreadsheet has begun to be a forceful agent of decentralization, breaking down hierarchies in large companies and diminishing the power of data-processing.

Apple II computer

Apple II computer

Visicalc

Visicalc

Run Visicalc online in your browser:

https://archive.org/details/VisiCalc_1979_SoftwareArts

Bricklin [Visicalc] enrolled in the Harvard University MBA program, with the aim of equipping himself with a wider skill set than programming—he did not want to suffer the same fate as many programmers he had encountered who had become unemployed in their fifties.

-Martin Campbell-Kelly

Karpor [Lotus] took several years to mature socially, drifting in and out of transcendental meditation, a period as a disc jockey, and taking a master’s course in psychological counseling. He enrolled for an MBA at MIT’s Sloan School of Management in 1978. In July 1978, he bought an Apple II computer and it was a turning point in his life.

-Martin Campbell-Kelly

“I know of one venture capital firm that assumes people manipulate spreadsheets,” Kapor said. "So they have this other model to put against the first one, to factor the stuff out.

Website -> Handouts -> Week 4

Look at this artifact

  • What does it tell you about the neighborhood?
  • What do you wish it told you?
  • What does that tell you about how it was made?

Census Schedule

Census Schedule

Punch card tabulation

Punch card tabulation

Mechanical tabulation with mercury (upper right)

Mechanical tabulation with mercury (upper right)

Assignment: Historical Data

Data Visualization principles in Tufte

Above all, show the data

  • “present many numbers in a small space”
  • but data needs context

Marey’s trains Tufte redesign

Marey’s trains Tufte redesign

Enable comparisons

  • all visualizations are comparisons!
  • small multiples

NYT Drought footprint

NYT Drought footprint

Unemployment

Unemployment

Show causality * remember John Snow’s map * but we have to remember causality is speculative - other maps of cholera don’t show this connection.

alternative cholera

alternative cholera

Attend to multivariate data * how to capture different dimensions in a visualization is a hard visual design problem

Minard

Minard

Minimize non-data ink use your visual language for data values.

data-ink

data-ink

decluttered

decluttered

take an integrated view - attend to context “be closely integrated with the statistical and verbal descriptions of a data set.”

graphical integrity avoid distortion

Fox healthcare chart

Fox healthcare chart