The class practised doing critiques on the famous Wind Map by Fernanda Viegas and Martin Wattenberg.
Click here for a real-time version of the map.
I selected this particular project because it is a heartless person indeed who does not see the "beauty" in this thing.
Beauty is a word that is thrown around a lot in data visualization circles. What do we mean by beauty?
The discussion was very successful and the most interesting points of discussion were these:
- Something that is beautiful should take us to some truth.
- If we take this same map but corrupt all the data (e.g. reverse all wind directions), is the map still beautiful?
- What is the "truth" in this map? What is its utility?
- The emotional side of beauty is separate from the information side.
- "Truth" comes before the emotional side of beauty.
Readers: would love to hear what you think.