Data Points focuses on the approach to visualization and data. Visualization is a medium that can be used as a tool, art, a way to tell stories, etc., Data Points guides readers through making data approachable through visualization techniques and best practices. The focus is on designing with a purpose in mind. Data Points discusses why recipes (from the rules) work and expands on how readers can make their own recipes. The book is example-driven, featuring work from people in areas of art, design, business, statistics, computer science, cartography, and online media, as well as many of the author's own illustrations. The major sections of the book cover:
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- Visualization as Medium – In the same way not all movies are documentaries, not all visualization is about optimal visual perception.
- Data Representation – There are rules across all visualization applications, such as the use of appropriate shapes to accurately represent values.
- Design with Purpose – Rules can be broken though. It all depends on who and what you're designing for.
Data Points digs deep into the foundations of data visualization:
- Understanding Data and Visualization
- Representing Data
- Exploring Data Visually
- Designing for an Audience
- Visualizing with Clarity
- Putting Everything Into Practice with Tools and Resources