OpenVis Conf is a two-day, single track conference centered around the practice of visualizing data on the web.
Join us to learn about data visualization, information design, data analysis and implementation using the best Open Web technology.
OpenVis Conf will be taking place on April 25th and 26th of 2016 at the New England Aquarium in Boston, MA.
OpenVis Conf 2016 took place on April 25th and 26th of this year. We had yet another amazing conference and we are thrilled to start thinking about our next one. Stay tuned via Twitter (@OpenVisConf) and subscribe to our mailing list for updates about OpenVis Conf 2017 — it will be our 5 year anniversary!
Please get in touch if you'd like to help support OpenVis Conf 2017 at OpenVisConf@bocoup.com.
We are excited to share this year's talks in this interactive visualization below. Each talk is represented as a "filmstrip" made up of 30 slide thumbnails from each talk. Hover over the filmstrip to see larger versions of the thumbnails and click them to start playing the video from that point.
Below the filmstrip are the top words and bi-grams used during the talk. These were extracted using TF-IDF. Terms that are a darker blue and closer to the top appeared more frequently in this talk versus those that are closer to the bottom and are a lighter color. Hovering on a thumbnail in the filmstrip will highlight which words were used during that clip. Hover on a word to see all the occurences of that word across the entire talk. Click on a word to persist the circle markers on the timeline beneath the thumbnail film strip, allowing you to click a circle to start playing the video at that point.
To watch the video from the beginning, click the talk title directly.
This was the first year we've had live transcription during the conference available to our attendees and those following remotely. Since we used the transcripts in our video visualization above, we wanted to share them with you. You can download the raw files here: Transcripts.zip.
Fernanda Viégas and Martin Wattenberg lead Google's data visualization research group. They are known for their contributions to social and collaborative visualization, and the systems they’ve created are used daily by millions of people. Before joining Google, the two led IBM's Visual Communication Lab, which created the ground-breaking public visualization platform Many Eyes.
Viégas has been named by multiple publications as one of the most influential women in technology. Her visualizations of email and online conversations led the way for new social media interfaces. Wattenberg, as a director of R&D at Dow Jones, created some of the earliest visualizations for digital journalism. Viégas holds a Ph.D. from the MIT Media Lab; Wattenberg has a Ph.D. in mathematics from U.C. Berkeley. Their visualization-based artwork has been exhibited worldwide, and is part of the permanent collection at the Museum of Modern Art in New York.
Every artist has a responsibility to engage with and respond to their cultural climate. Right now, the effect of massive data collection, and automated systems that filter and respond to this data, is felt on a daily basis. In this talk, Kyle will present a number of studies and experiments covering the field of machine learning that he has produced in an effort to familiarize himself with these systems. From Deep Dream animations to t-SNE for audio sample exploration, recurrent neural net emoji to autoencoder-based synthetic writing systems, he’ll focus on the process behind discovering and exploring different tools and techniques.
Kyle McDonald is an artist who works in the open with code. He is a contributor to arts-engineering toolkits like openFrameworks, and spends a significant amount of time building tools that allow artists to use new algorithms in creative ways. His work is very process-oriented, and he has made a habit of sharing ideas and projects in public before they're completed. He enjoys creatively subverting networked communication and computation, exploring glitch and embedded biases, and extending these concepts to reversal of everything from personal identity to work habits. Kyle is an adjunct professor at NYU's ITP, and was formerly a member of F.A.T. Lab, and community manager for openFrameworks.
Drawing an image on-screen is a fundamental part of making digital graphics. There are so many tools and libraries such as Photoshop and ImageMagic available to us to perform various tasks. We draw, crop, apply filters, and compress images all the time. But what exactly is happening when we use those tools? What do those different settings and parameters mean? Do we need elaborate tools or can we roll up our own? In this talk, Mariko will introduce core concepts in digital imaging and image processing. The talk will explore what is happening on a pixel-level when you draw charts in your screen or apply filters to an image. Once you understand what a pixel is and how to manipulate it, you can make a smart and confident choice in your rendering method and formatting.
Our world gets more and more consumed by complex systems—social, technological, environmental, financial, political. How can one even begin to understand these systems, let alone change them? Data visualization can show people the patterns under current events—but now, we need to go deeper, and show people the systems operating under those patterns. In this talk, Nicky will walk us through modeling and simulation and demonstrate how it allows us to learn about a system through play, see how it evolves over time, and understand the underlying mechanism that make it tick.
Nicky Case plays with play. They make interactive explanations, to help people understand the world, and interactive stories, to help people understand themselves. Most notably, they collaborated with Vi Hart to make Parable of the Polygons, a sociology-simulation on discrimination and diversity. This year, they started working with PBS Frontline to make experimental open-source interactives, as part of the Mozilla/Knight OpenNews Fellowship.
Statistics and data visualization both focus on telling the difference between sameness and peculiarity, but it’s not always easy to make that call.
Humans are great at finding patterns, even in random noise. So sometimes, what looks like a story is actually just the result of random variation or an artifact of parameter choices in the analysis. In this talk, Amelia will discuss some ways these ersatz patterns can manifest, and demonstrate ways to help you avoid getting fooled. By the end of this talk, your eye will be attuned to the ways that it can be tricked into finding a pattern in nothingness.
Amelia McNamara is a Visiting Assistant Professor of Statistical and Data Sciences at Smith College, as well as a MassMutual Faculty Fellow. She holds at BA from Macalester College and received her PhD in statistics from UCLA in 2015. Her work incorporates elements of statistical computing, data visualization, and statistics education. Her goal is to make it easier for everyone to do and understand statistics.
SVG can do much more than create nice shapes and paths. In this talk, Nadieh will discuss a few techniques and demonstrate how to implement them in D3: from dynamic gradients based on data, to SVG filters and patterns, to creating glow, gooey, and fuzzy effects that brighten up any visual.
Nadieh started out as an Astronomer before joining Deloitte Consulting as a data scientist. A year ago she finally discovered that she loved the visualization of the data and insights even more than the analysis itself. Since then, she has been spending most of her evening and weekend hours reading about best practices, creating projects, and sharing lessons learned on her personal blog, Visual Cinnamon. She is now working for Adyen, a payment service provider based in Amsterdam, where she works on both data visualizations and analytics. Her favorite data visualizations border on the data art side while still conveying insights.
WebGL technology has become an omnipresent standard, and while frameworks and libraries make it easier to use, GLSL shaders can still be a challenge to implement. In this talk, Patricio will focus on the core principles of shaders, how to use them and various techniques that will enhance your visualizations and maps. Patricio will then describe some of 3D maps and visualizations using Tangram (Mapzen’s 2D/3D map engine) and OpenStreetMap that make use of shaders.
Patricio Gonzalez Vivo is an artist and engineer who uses code and light to turn data into stunning landscapes. His landscapes address the problem of scale and the development of technology to perceive beyond the world in front of us. This technology helps us to see where our eyes are otherwise blind, pushing our cognitive limits. Patricio’s landscapes are not just representations of space but compositions of time and perception. Although his work is technically sophisticated his process is driven by curiosity and playful tinkering. Binoculars, telescopes, astrolabes, compasses, grids, maps, and photographs are some of the apparatus that trigger his imagination.
Patricio’s work has been shown at FILE Festival (2012, 2013), Espacio Fundación Telefónica, and FASE. He was a MediaLab resident at Centro Cultural Español. Patricio currently makes open source mapping tools at Mapzen. His work has been featured in Gizmodo, The Atlantic, and Fast Company. He developed visual systems for the interactive Clouds documentary. He teaches at Parsons The New School, where he received his MFA in Design and Technology. Patricio lives in Brooklyn and Buenos Aires. In his previous life, he was a clinical psychologist and art therapist. He believes in developing a better together.
If your data has anything to do with people or environment, then seasonality matters. Our actions are heavily influenced by our regular hourly, daily, weekly, seasonal, and annual patterns, as well as by typical (e.g. holidays, weather variation, etc.) and one-off (e.g. natural disasters, electrical outages, war, etc.) aberrations to these patterns.
In this talk, Zan will show how seasonality affects data, share visualizations that handle these in effective and interesting ways, and provide guidelines for addressing seasonality in your own work.
Zan Armstrong's interest in data visualization originally grew out of her work forecasting and analyzing Google's global search ads revenue. This work led to a collaboration with Martin Wattenberg and Fernanda Viégas to tackle a key analysis problem: Visualizing Statistical Mix Effects and Simpson's Paradox, with the resulting research and "comet chart" presented at InfoVis 2014.
Zan is currently based in San Francisco and freelancing creating interactive data visualization. Zan's favorite projects are those which reveal an unexpected answer or help people see something in a new way. One of these, a project comparing the sizes of countries around the world, was featured on the Flowing Data blog. She also enjoys creating interactive pieces which give others the chance to experience the thrill of making discoveries in data.
We often see examples of engaging one-off visualizations built around fixed datasets, but what happens when the data visualization is a core part of an entire product? What if that visualization is built on top of ever-changing data, its shape updating with every user action? What if we need to take that visualization and scale it up to handle tens of thousands of nodes, while maintaining a full set of features around it?
In this talk, Shirley will talk about her and her team's experiences implementing a web application around network graphs: the challenges they faced, the mistakes they made, and the lessons they learned.
Shirley Wu lives in the San Francisco Bay Area and works as a software developer at security company Illumio. There, she works on an interesting part of the product called Illumination: a visualization of application traffic and visual tools for writing security policy on top of them. Prior to Illumio, Shirley worked at Splunk where she first got her start with D3.js and data visualization.
On the side, Shirley likes to build silly (tweetyviz, visfest, vday) and not-as-silly (expenses, 80k) dataviz, for learning and for fun. She writes once in a while about the things that she learns (Understanding the Force, On D3, React, and a little bit of Flux), and gives talks once in a while too (BART strike project, Marrying Backbone.js and D3.js). Shirley is a retired amateur artist and an almost-investment-banker, with a degree in Business and a minor in Computer Science. Her love for data visualization stems from her love of art, code, and numbers.
When depicting complex systems, it is not enough for our visualizations to be only beautiful and comprehensive. A good exposition builds up to complex ideas by leading its audience through its constituent parts. Animations in data visualizations, with careful pacing and thoughtful transitions, allow us to show how different parts of a system come together. In this talk, Tony will present how he applied these ideas in his work in the R2D3 project, as well as other examples of this style of exposition.
Tony Chu is a product and interaction designer at H2O, a machine learning company. He enjoys telling stories and unpacking complexity with design and code. He received his MFA in Interaction Design from the School of Visual Arts in NYC, and his BA in Cognitive Systems at the University of British Columbia.
Mona Chalabi is a presenter and the data editor of Guardian US. She wrote a regular advice column for FiveThirtyEight called "Dear Mona, Am I Normal?," which answered readers' questions about anything from jury service to dating habits using numbers rather than personal experience. She also worked on a regular segment on American National Public Radio called "The Number Of The Week" that unpacks a statistic from the news. Mona recently presented a documentary for BBC3 about racism in Britain, which aired in October 2015. As well as writing and presenting, Mona designs charts and illustrates data in sketches, which can be seen on her Instagram account.
Before moving to New York to write for Nate Silver’s site FiveThirtyEight, Mona worked at the Guardian's Datablog in London. She began to write about statistics after analyzing large data sets in her roles at the Bank of England, the Economist Intelligence Unit, Transparency International, and the International Organization for Migration.
What started as a simple tool to help make line charts faster has turned into a full-fledged platform for graphics that allows more than 90 journalists in a single newsroom to make, edit, and publish charts without the need of specialized skills or hard to learn software. How did such a tool form?
In this talk, David will present Chartbuilder, an open source charting platform he created, that is now maintained by Quartz and has been adopted by many news organizations including NPR, FiveThirtyEight, The Los Angeles Times, and the South China Morning Post. David will walk us through the technical aspects of the tool, the thought process that gave rise to it, and the challenges such tools introduce within their organizations.
One of the largest guiding forces that allows graphics editors, designers, and developers to make the best, most memorable graphics of our time is… sheer intuition. Visualizers rely mostly on instinct cultivated by years of experience to make color, layout, text, graph style, and user interface elements decisions, for better or for worse.
There is a dearth of research available to visualizers to inform whether to use a radio dial or checkbox, or if that scatterplot confuses your audience, or if simply placing that big button a bit higher up and to the right will lead to significantly higher engagement. However, there is research available that is pertinent to visualizers, and can help us understand the way humans interact with and perceive graphics, which will lead us to making better, more informed graphics
In this talk, Kennedy will present and discuss research from academics, user experience experts and results from newsrooms’ own private A/B labs.
Kennedy Elliott is a graphics editor at The Washington Post. She codes, designs and reports interactive graphics and stories. She was previously at The Guardian, Associated Press and Nielsen.
She believes that a human-centered approach should be applied to data visualizations and news graphics. She loves computers but thinks humans are more interesting. She thinks that if we learn more about the way humans process information, we can make graphics better for everyone.
From orbiters, to probes, to Mars rovers, every spacecraft in operation communicates regularly with Earth about its science and operations data. Operators on the ground need to be able to quickly view, understand, and analyze the telemetry data of their spacecraft.
For the past year, Rachel has been leading a development team at NASA JPL to create a web-based telemetry visualization tool. It is currently used by Cassini, Dawn, SMAP, and Curiosity, with different features developed to suit each mission’s data needs. In this talk, Rachel will explore the challenges of designing data visualizations for situational awareness and time-sensitive analysis. In addition, she will highlight the role of user research and testing to evaluate the effectiveness of a visual display. Visualization design isn’t rocket science, but it sure can be helpful for the latter!
Rachel Binx is a design technologist, currently working at NASA’s JPL to create data visualizations to aid in spacecraft operation. In addition to her visualization work, Rachel has also started three companies (Meshu, Gifpop, and Monochōme), each of which creates custom objects based on customers’ personal data. When not sitting in front of a computer, Rachel enjoys travel, photography, and hanging out with parrots.
Vega is a visualization grammar -- a declarative format for creating and saving interactive visualization designs. Existing declarative visualization languages allow users to construct static visualizations by mapping data values to visual properties. Unfortunately, a similar process does not yet exist for interactive visualizations. Instead, custom interaction design requires programming with event handling callbacks -- a complex and error-prone task. In this talk, Arvind will describe how to use reactive building blocks, offered natively in recent versions of Vega, to author interactive data graphics. With this approach, the complexity of event propagation and state changes is managed entirely by Vega. Users are now free to more quickly prototype and iterate on interactive designs, and more easily retarget them across mouse and touch input.
Arvind Satyanarayan is a Computer Science PhD candidate at Stanford University. He works with Jeffrey Heer, and the University of Washington Interactive Data Lab, on new languages and systems for custom interactive visualization design. Arvind is also a co-founder and advisor at Apropose, a search engine for web design.
Reusing D3 code is hard. We're constantly trying to come up with novel designs and ways of encoding data, making it difficult to write code that is also composable and reusable. In this talk, Adam will discuss the tiny tools developed and used at Bloomberg Graphics to sketch charts with code more quickly, reduce the amount of required copying and pasting, make it easier to move between illustrator and D3, simplify color selection, and more.
Adam Pearce makes interactive charts for Bloomberg Graphics. He's been learning how to use D3 for the last three years, posting his progress on roadtolarissa.com. Besides working with data visualizations, he's also been a cover model for Businessweek and a unicycler in a circus.
Why is uncertain data so hard for people to understand? Why is uncertain data so hard to visualize well? It may be because the way we've been taught to model and visualize uncertainty is at odds with the way we experience uncertainty in real life. In this talk, Jessica will present the science behind how people reason best with uncertainty, along with visualizations that tackle uncertainty. She will highlight some of the intriguing findings from her own studies of how people use these new types of visualizations in this space and her own work. She will walk the audience through how to design "experienceable" visualizations of uncertainty.
Jessica Hullman is an Assistant Professor at the University of Washington. Her research focuses on how visualizations and other interactive representations can make complex information more comprehensible to broad audiences. She has explored topics such as data-based storytelling, measurement cognition, text simplification, and understandable uncertainty visualization.
How can data science and visualization design influence each other? Can visual inquiry influence data quality and line of questioning? Does data science impact the visual metaphors we choose in our communication? In this talk, Kim will discuss the intersection of visualization and data science through a recently released project, Untangling Tennis, a visual and data analytic exploration of success in tennis that uncovers the relationship between performance and popularity.
Kim Albrecht is a visual researcher & information designer. Among others, he is interested in networks, time, power, processes and how we can find visual representations for these topics to produce and represent knowledge. Currently he is based in Boston, working at the Center for Complex Network Research as a visualization researcher.
Today, earth-observing satellites constantly collect and transmit rich scientific data and beautiful imagery in quantities and at a quality that is unprecedented. Many of these datasets are freely accessible, and some of the available time series now go back several decades.
Christine Waigl is a physicist by training. She left her native Germany in the 1990s, first for France and later for the UK. She held a variety of jobs, including workinking as a secondary school teacher and a client-facing software engineer, before returning to science and moving to Alaska, where she lives with her spouse and 18 Siberian Huskies.
She is currently a PhD candidate in geophysics at the University of Alaska Fairbanks, specializing in satellite remote sensing of wildfires. Her interests include language and linguistics, the processes that govern the circum-polar North, scientific outreach, data and metadata usability, and more widely building connections between all of us who want to use our technological tools for the benefit of all. Previous speaking experiences include PyCon Montréal 2015 and the 2015 ESIP Federation Summer Meeting.
Text is one of the most prominent forms of open data available, from social media to legal cases. Text visualizations are often critiqued for not being useful, for being unstructured and presenting data out of context (think: word clouds). In this talk, Chris will argue that we should not expect them to be a replacement for reading. He will briefly discuss the close/distant reading debate then focus on where text visualization can be useful: hypothesis generation and guiding investigation. Text visualization can help someone form questions about a large text collection, then drill down to investigate through targeted reading of the underlying source texts.
Chris will also discuss the design challenges which, while common across visualization, are particularly important with text (e.g. legibility, label fitting, finding appropriate levels of ‘zoom’) as well as what are interesting open challenges in this field.
Christopher Collins is the Canada Research Chair in Linguistic Information Visualization and an Assistant Professor of Computer Science at the University of Ontario Institute of Technology (UOIT). His research focus is interdisciplinary, combining information visualization and human-computer interaction with natural language processing to address the challenges of information management and the problems of information overload. His work has been published in many venues including IEEE Transactions on Visualization and Computer Graphics, and has been featured in popular media such as the Toronto Star and the New York Times Magazine. Collins received his Ph.D. in Computer Science from the University of Toronto.
Virtual reality, in its current nascent state, is a combination of thrilling and confusing and exhilarating (and sometimes nauseating)—and it could be the platform for a new way to tell stories with data. Designers, developers, and journalists can use VR to tap into an instinctive understanding of space to create visceral, emotional experiences, even around something as simple as a line chart. In this talk, Ana will show a few examples of VR data visualizations that make great use of the medium, discuss some of the challenges of designing for VR, and walk us through the tools used at WSJ to create a browser-based VR data interactive of the Nasdaq.
Ana Asnes Becker is a designer and web developer on the interactive graphics team at The Wall Street Journal. In 2015 Ana worked on WSJ's first published Virtual Reality interactive, the VR Nasdaq, which earned the Online News Association's award for Excellence and Innovation in Visual Digital Storytelling. In true Brooklynite form, Ana is also a musician and has performed around the country playing lead guitar in her band Fruit & Flowers.
Bocoup is an Open Web technology company by and for programmers. Bocoup team members create new Open Web technologies and help them become viable through consulting, education and community development.
The Data Visualization Team at Bocoup transforms raw data into visually engaging interactive experiences using Open Web technologies. From finding meaning in data to creating rich & powerful visualizations, we produce visualizations that are informative, engaging and impactful.
We believe that everyone deserves a thoroughly pleasant conference experience, regardless of who they are. We adhere to the Bocoup Code of Conduct and expect that all of our speakers, attendees, sponsors, and volunteers will do the same.Read more
Bocoup partners with organizations to design, build, and deploy technology products and experiences that empower users and customers to accomplish more. Industries and individuals depend on the open technologies and standards developed by Bocoup. Companies work with us to solve their toughest technology problems as we help their development teams become fluent with open production methods.
Knight Foundation supports transformational ideas that promote quality journalism, advance media innovation, engage communities and foster the arts. The foundation believes that democracy thrives when people and communities are informed and engaged. For more, visit knightfoundation.org.
Harvard Business Publishing was founded in 1994 as a not-for-profit, wholly owned subsidiary of Harvard University. Its mission is to improve the practice of management and its impact in a changing world. The company achieves its mission in three market groups: Higher Education, Harvard Business Review Group, and Corporate Learning. Through these platforms, Harvard Business Publishing is able to influence real-world change by maximizing the reach and impact of its essential offering – ideas.
ActBlue builds and powers the premier online fundraising platform for Democratic campaigns, progressive organizations, and charities working to create a better future.
Netflix is the world’s leading Internet television network with over 75 million members in over 190 countries enjoying more than 125 million hours of TV shows and movies per day, including original series, documentaries and feature films. Members can watch as much as they want, anytime, anywhere, on nearly any Internet-connected screen. Members can play, pause and resume watching, all without commercials or commitments.
Accenture Technology Labs, the dedicated R&D organization within Accenture, capitalizes on dramatic changes in technology, business and society to bring fresh insights to Accenture and our clients. Our more than 200 expert technologists and researchers work with leaders across the company to invest in, incubate and deliver breakthrough ideas and solutions that help our clients disrupt the status quo and create new sources of business advantage.
PolicyViz helps people and organizations communicate their data more effectively. We offer a range of trainings and workshops on data analysis and data visualization, as well as tool-specific classes in such tools as Microsoft Excel, PowerBI, R, and Tableau. Training workshops on presentation skills and design provide clients with the necessary knowledge and skills to help them create engaging, effective presentations.
Sponsoring OpenVis Conf is a great way to connect with our expert community of data visualization practitioners. Help us make OVC be the best it can be by providing Diversity Scholarships or by supporting our speakers and attendee. Take a look at our sponsorship prospectus to see all the ways you can be part of creating a shared experience and foster long-lasting relationships with members of the data visualization community.Review Sponsorships Get In Touch
We are incredibly grateful to our committee members for their continuing dedication to OpenVis and the Data Visualization community at large. These people work hard to make this conference program the best that it can be.