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Customer Review

53 of 60 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Little more than a Processing Environment tutorial, February 20, 2008
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This review is from: Visualizing Data: Exploring and Explaining Data with the Processing Environment (Paperback)
Based on the title and publisher's writeup I was expecting the book to provide in-depth coverage of various visual metaphors for understanding and manipulating data, such as "Designing Interfaces" by Tidwell, another O'Reilly book that I am very pleased with.

Unfortunately it would be more appropriate if the title (Visualizing Dta) and sub-title (Exploring and Explaining Data with the Processing Environment) were switched. This book is primarily a tutorial on using the Processing Environment ([...] showing you how to create various interactive charts and composed primarily of code examples.

In addition, the visualizations presented in the book are far from aesthetically pleasing. The Processing Environment has the capability to create visualizations that are not only functional, but beautiful as well. You can find a collection of visualizations at [...] many of which were created with the Processing Environment.

In summary I am granting a 2-star rating because the book does not deliver the expected coverage of data visualization design and even in its explanation of the Processing Environment does not provide exemplary visualizations.
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Showing 1-1 of 1 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Apr 15, 2008 10:46:17 AM PDT
The visualizations at visualcomplexity.com are nearly *all* types of graphs and networks, which are covered at length in Chapter 8 of this book. In contrast to what Fry's trying to create, most projects at that site are arguably of little practical value, showing little more than "connectedness". They seem to be more about, well, visual complexity as an aesthetic rather than visual data one can really read and draw conclusions from.
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