Category Archives: InfoVis

2011 in Review

The stats helper monkeys prepared a 2011 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

The concert hall at the Syndey Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 19,000 times in 2011. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 7 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Source: Click here to see the complete report.

Authority Building Machine!















What is Happiness?



Seven deadly words/phrases

Source: see more here

Interconnection of Companies


Video Resume

The “Visual” Resume



Source: // PDF

2010 In Review

The stats helper monkeys at mulled over how this blog did in 2010, and here’s a high level summary of its overall blog health:

Healthy blog!

The Blog-Health-o-Meter™ reads This blog is doing awesome!.

Crunchy numbers

Featured image

The average container ship can carry about 4,500 containers. This blog was viewed about 19,000 times in 2010. If each view were a shipping container, your blog would have filled about 4 fully loaded ships.


In 2010, there were 4 new posts, growing the total archive of this blog to 91 posts. There were 6 pictures uploaded, taking up a total of 743kb.

The busiest day of the year was May 18th with 120 views. The most popular post that day was How to answer 23 of the most common interview questions .

Where did they come from?

The top referring sites in 2010 were,,,, and

Some visitors came searching, mostly for phd interview questions, gtd, phd interview questions and answers, periodic table pdf, and gtd mindmap.

Attractions in 2010

These are the posts and pages that got the most views in 2010.


How to answer 23 of the most common interview questions November 2007


5 cool resume writing tips November 2007


A Periodic Table of Visualization Methods November 2007


Welcome! November 2007


Multi-Monitor Productivity November 2007
1 comment

How to Become a Thought Leader

Similarities Between PhD Dissertations

Stanford Dissertation Browser- electrical engineering

Certain fields of study tend to cover many of the same topics. Many times, the two fields go hand-in-hand. Electrical engineering, for example, ties tightly with computer science. Same thing between education and sociology. Daniel Ramage and Jason Chuang of Stanford University explore these similarities through the language used in their school’s dissertations.

Source: Network Visualization

Mapping a Typical Mortgage Document



What Does Your Resume Look Like Visually?

This is what mine looks like so far…


– Seth

Why Isn’t Data Visualization More Popular?

Take 5!

Todd provides 5 reasons why data visualization isn’t more prevalent:

  1. People don’t know what data visualization is.
  2. Bad visualization has skewed perception of what data visualization is and what it can be used for.
  3. People can’t interpret charts or new data representations.
  4. Visualization is difficult to create, but easy to copy.
  5. People won’t pay for visualization.

While all the reasons do have some truth, there are a couple things worth adding.

People Do Know What Data Visualization Is

People have some kind of idea of what data is and know that you can get information out of it somehow. Maybe it’s with a graph or it could be with something more elaborate, but most people will get it. They know what data visualization is. They just don’t know what it’s called. In other words, they know. They just don’t know they know.

People Will Pay (A Lot) for Visualization

With all the data out there and the constantly increasing volumes of it, more people want to understand without having to learn formal statistical methods. How can they understand it? Visualization of course. The growing number of examples I’ve covered here on FlowingData show that there is a growing demand. After all, a lot of stuff I’ve covered here was commissioned.

Not Too Worried

Anyways, even though not everyone knows about data visualization (yet), I’m not too worried about it. There’s just too much data for people not to care… or am I wasting my time? No. If they don’t care, we’ll show them why they should.

Like what you see? Subscribe to the FlowingData RSS feed to stay updated on what’s new in data visualization.

One data theme. Three original prints. Your walls will thank you.

Inspired by the tangram puzzles from when we were kids, this design paints a fascinating portrait of what goes into learning in America.

Education: Enrollment and Dropouts

College High












Internet Personas

seth gillespie

Source: (no longer online)

GTD via

These are the top 200 words from David Allen’s book Getting Things Done, sized by frequency courtesy of

top 200 words in GTD

designed with

Interactive Visualization Toolkits

As digital information becomes increasingly cheap and  ubiquitous, how will we keep abreast with the rising tide of data? Our research group investigates the perceptual,  cognitive, and social factors involved in making sense of  large data collections, and develops novel interactive  systems for visual analysis and communication.
latest + greatest

Our work on social data analysis was featured in the January 2009 issue of Communications of the ACM.

O’Reilly’s Beautiful Data contains 39 vignettes of data in action, including our work on social analysis of census data. Proceeds go to the Sunlight Foundation and Creative Commons.
selected projects

Collaborative Visualization

Social data analysis using interactive visualizations on the web.

Multi-Scale Banking to 45°

Perceptual optimization of the aspect
ratios of data graphics.

Papers: InfoVis’06

Animation in Data Graphics

Using animation to improve perception
of transitions in data graphics.

Vizster: Visualizing Social Networks

Visual exploration of networks such as Friendster, Facebook, and MySpace.

A Visual Expedition Inside the Linux File Systems

Circular representations of the phylogentic tree. This is an alternative representation of the tree generated by Pars. The size of the text is proportional with the depth.

180° circular representation of the phylogentic tree. An alternative representation using only half of a circle.

90° circular representation of the phylogentic tree. An yet another representation using a quarter of a circle.

Source: and

Concept Maps

Concept Maps

We create concept maps, a type of model,
to explore and learn about complex information spaces.
By showing everything—the forest and the trees—in a single view,
concept maps help people create mental models and clarify thoughts.
We create concept maps to share understanding—
with our clients, peers, and others interested in the subjects.

Please note: many of our concept maps are poster size.
They can be printed at smaller sizes (11 x 17), but may be difficult to read.
A few of the maps have been printed and are available through our office.

A Model of The Creative Process

Concept Map: A Model of The Creative Process

Created in collaboration with Jack Chung, Shelley Evenson, and Paul Pangaro.

The creative process is not just iterative; it’s also recursive. It plays out “in the large” and “in the small”—in defining the broadest goals and concepts and refining the smallest details. It branches like a tree, and each choice has ramifications, which may not be known in advance. Recursion also suggests a procedure that “calls” or includes itself. Many engineers define the design process as a recursive function:
discover > define > design > develop > deploy

Source: More

A Model of Play

Concept Map: A Model of Play

Created in collaboration with Satoko Kakihara, Jack Chung, and Paul Pangaro.

This model is built on the idea that play is a type of conversation. It involves two individuals, who might also be teams, or points of view with in a single person, or a virtual person and a real person. Through conversation, they create a shared world in their imaginations, which leads to fun.

Source: More

A Model of Innovation

Concept Map: Innovation

Created in collaboration with Sean Durham, Ryan Reposar, Paul Pangaro, and Nathan Felde.

This model is built on the idea that innovation is about changing paradigms. The model situates innovation between two conventions. Innovations transform old into new. It is a process—a process in which insight inspires change and creates value.

Source: More

How Organizations Track Customers

Concept Map: Information Loop

Increasingly, organizations are focusing on understanding their customers to increase customer satisfaction and to maximize lifetime customer value. Insights gleaned from observing customers can drive product improvement, loyalty, word-of-mouth referrals and cross- and upselling.

Source: More

Domain Name System

Concept Map: Domain Name System

Created in collaboration with Paul Devine.

The domain name system stores and associates many types of information with domain names, but more importantly, associates domain names (computer hostnames) to IP addresses. DNS is a system vital to the smooth operation of the Internet.

The goal of this diagram is to explain what DNS is, how it works, and how it’s governed. The diagram knits together many facts about DNS in hopes of presenting a comprehensive picture of the system and the context in which it operates.

Source: More

Jul 29, 2003

Heart Attack

Concept Map: Heart Attack

Created in collaboration with Audrey Crane.

For many years, Stanford University Cardiac Rehabilitation Program (SCRP) has conducted research on ways to change the behavior of patients who have had heart attacks. Their research is aimed at reducing the risk of a patient having another heart attack. Educating patients and their families is a key component of changing patient behavior.

Source: More

Java Technology

Concept Map: Java Technology

Created in collaboration with Audrey Crane, Jim Faris, and Harry Saddler.

This diagram explains Java by placing it in the context of related concepts and examples, and by defining its major components and other connections between them.

The Pursuit of Human Knowledge Has a Shape: The Milky Way