Recently, on my journey to learn more about data visualization, I stumbled upon Processing. I found the course “Interactive Data Visualization with Processing” with Barton Poulson on Lynda.com. The course seems pretty promising, and I am looking forward to using Processing to create some neat graphics.
Processing is an open-source software and it is also a programming language. Unlike the other languages that I am familiar with, C++ and Python, it focuses on implementing code with visuals.
I am not sure how to embed the files to this post, but here are screenshots of what I have come up with after going through the examples so far.
Lines: I looped 1000 different colored lines together with random start and end points. The y-values are the same, so that the lines stay within the window. The colors, except for the white lines, were arbitrarily chosen.
Smiley Face: I mostly wanted to play around and create shapes with the code. I used the ellipse function to create the head and the eyes, and I used the arc function to create the mouth. I also learned how to make the head float across the window.
So far, I find Processing to be a really fun visual tool. Processing is an open-source software and you can download it here: https://processing.org/download
One of my first infographics is a very simple tutorial for a taekwondo roundhouse kick.
The purpose of the project is to practice tracing in Adobe Illustrator. I asked my roommate to take pictures of me executing a roundhouse kick. With the pen tool, I traced my silhouette and added details, as necessary. I practiced adding realistic shadows in illustrator.
Alberto Cairo is one of the biggest reasons why I became interested in data visualization. At first, I did not know that Data Visualization could be a career possibility. I first checked out his book the Functional Art from the library in my hometown. I was simply intrigued by the title. The Functional Art: An introduction to information graphics and data visualization.
I was surprised to find a book dedicated solely to infographics. I am not particularly fond of marketing infographics that focus too much on contrasting colors and busy pictures. Although I am an artist and I love comics, I also like numbers and analyzing data. The book focused on the design aspects of graphs. Cairo emphasized the importance of simplicity and telling a story with the data.
Data storytelling sounded intriguing. I realized that Cairo taught at my University. I thought about it. Infographics at the Communication School does not have much at all to do with what I was studying and I have already taken plenty of elective courses. However, on the other hand, would I regret not taking a course with Cairo?
Data visualization, infographics, data science, data analyst, data storytelling, data journalism. Data, Data, Data, Data, Data, Data.
Well, what about it?
Data is more prevalent now than ever. Every transaction is processed and stored, every blog post is tracked, every click on the internet is another piece of data. As data continues to accumulate, I become more wary of its presence. It worries me how much someone can know about me, but at the same time, I can learn so much about everyone else and the world through data. Data, is neither a friend or an enemy. It exists and it would not be going away as this society becomes more digitally-connected than ever.