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Beautiful Visualization: Looking at Data through the Eyes of Experts (Theory in Practice) Paperback – July 1, 2010
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The book does an excellent job of visiting various applicable domains. There is enough variety to keep you occupied. Its covers visualizing social datasets(link-node), hierarchical datasets(trees), categorical datasets(relational), time-varying datasets and other most commonly found datasets in scientific and information visualizations. Most chapters are well written with plenty of visuals. If you are an ardent fan of visuals you probabaly have seen everything in this book at one place or another. I think a significant part of the information is derived from papers or other well known publications. You can find almost anything by taking the visualcomplexity website as a starting point. However, the book can save you the research and is an excellent introductory text to expand your knowledge on visualizations.
That being said, I feel its little expensive for its size and as most content is there on the web already, O'Reilly should have listed it at slightly lesser cost. In case you are not going to buy, its a 5-star book no doubt.
I found all of the illustrated chapters and differing expert viewpoints on visual storytelling with data extremely valuable. A slight nit I would have with this phenomenal work is that I would have placed Jessica Hagy's chapter entitled Visualization: Indexed derived from her blog on visual storytelling first because of its explanatory power. But, perhaps the editors felt that a different emphasis was appropriate in that this is an O'Reilly collection emphasizing Visual Storytelling with The Computer as the Preeminent Tool.
A Beautiful Coffee Table Book that will serve both scientists and graphic artists.
HCI and IT Consultant formerly on the Senior Staff of Arthur D. Little Inc. and Digital Equipment Corporation
A particularly interesting chapter is about postmortem visualization. Not saying I am going to become a CSI, but reading it at least give me a hope about combining the thing I learn and the profession I want to join.
I work with creating visualizations myself, and for the book was most useful in its demonstration of the creative process. Each chapter features a data artist and one particular piece of their work, chronicled from inspiration to final product. It offers a rare glimpse into the working mind of an artist, going through their various revisions and explaining what worked in each round, and the reasons for their creative decisions.
I recommend this book for anyone interested in visualizations, from the casual observer to professional data artist. I've found it immensely helpful as a source of inspiration.