The Visual Display of Data

OK, this is a digression but it is occasionally good to escape from the Irish economy.

One of the lessons we try to instill in our students is the importance of the visual display of data, rather than relying too much on text.  Via Turbulence Ahead,  I came across this really striking example.

10 replies on “The Visual Display of Data”

great find. Anybody else think the haemoglobin looks like a buncha hearts stuck together?
In a more serious note, one of the few books on my shelf that I regularly look at is Ed Tufte “visual display of quantiative information”. Buy it…


I used to have a link to a site, which I lost unfortunately, which displayed dynamic diagrams used in systems thinking to explore processes and the network of things all working together at the same time. You see them sometimes now, used by the physicists in climate change to try and present concepts to do with ‘run away’ change in the environment.

I was hinting at the ability to think in terms of dynamic processes in earlier posts here. I have read quite a good bit of Peter M. Senge’s book, The Fifth Discipline. The ‘beer game’ chapter aught to be required reading for people interested in supply chain management.

I would spend a load of more time visiting Constantin Gurdgiev’s site if I was able to. His concepts are always worked out using visual aids to explain some of the concepts. Even I can understand the pictures, and that is saying something.

“powers of ten” – a 10 minute film, from the 1960’s, zooming out to the edge of the observable universe, then back, then zooming in to an atom.

mighty stuff.

Try Albert Bartlett: ‘Forgotten Fundamentals of the Energy Crisis’, Am. J. Phys. 46, (9), Sept. 1978, 876-888. Diagram, top-left, page 880!!!

B Peter

On the subject of data and where it comes from, how it is put together etc, David Duffy wrote this piece of the business section of the Irish Independent newspaper on Thursday last which is very informative of the way in which Permanent TSB home price index is put together.

Ronan Lyon’s blog site might have a similar article describing the approach he uses with his Daft index, based on asking price, not strike price.

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