20.04.2017 by Marisa Krystian

Are you looking for a great spring read that is also inspiring and educational? We have just the thing! We’ve collected a list of powerful data visualization books from the most revered and experienced authors. It doesn’t matter if you are interested in cartography, journalism, or visualization techniques – this post has something for everyone.


Maps & Atlases

maps infogram

1) Great Maps by Jerry Brotton

‘Revealing the stories behind 55 historical maps by analyzing graphic close-ups, Great Maps profiles key cartographers and explorers to look why each map was commissioned, who it was for and how they influenced navigation, propaganda, power, art, and politics.’

2) A History of the World in Twelve Maps by Jerry Brotton

‘A fascinating look at twelve maps from Ancient Greece to Google Earth and how they changed our world. In this masterful study, historian and cartography expert Jerry Brotton explores a dozen of history’s most influential maps.’

3) Transit Maps of the World by Mark Ovenden

‘Using glorious, colorful graphics, Mark Ovenden traces the history of mass transit-including rare and historic maps, diagrams, and photographs, some available for the first time since their original publication.’

4) The Atlas of Design Volume II by the NACIS

‘The Atlas aims to inspire readers both within the field of cartography and without toward new understandings of design, and of the power that a well-crafted map can have. Volume III is currently available.’

5) Making Maps: DIY Cartography – Third Edition by John Krygier and Denis Wood

‘This text has given thousands of students and professionals the tools to create effective, compelling maps. All components of map making are covered: titles, labels, legends, visual hierarchy, font selection, data organization, and more.’

6) Strange Maps by Frank Jacobs

‘An intriguing collection of more than one hundred out-of-the-ordinary maps, blending art, history, and pop culture for a unique atlas of humanity. This collection includes 138 unique graphics, illustrations, and fun statistics.’

7) The Mapmakers by John Noble Wilford

‘Two-time Pulitzer Prize winner John Noble Wilford recounts the history of cartography from antiquity to the space age. Wilford shows the impact of new technologies that make it possible for cartographers to go where no one has been before.’

8) The Ghost Map by Steven Johnson

‘The story of London’s most terrifying epidemic – and how it changed science, cities, and the modern world. As the cholera outbreak takes hold, a physician and a local curate are spurred to action-and ultimately solve the most pressing medical riddle of their time.’

9) How to Lie with Maps: Second Edition by Mark Monmonier

‘This lively, cleverly illustrated essay on the use and abuse of maps teaches us how to evaluate maps critically and promotes a healthy skepticism about these easy-to-manipulate models of reality.’

10) Maphead by Ken Jennings

‘Ken Jennings takes readers on a world tour of geogeeks. Each chapter delves into a different aspect of map culture: highpointing, geocaching, road atlas rallying, even the “unreal estate” charted on the maps of fiction and fantasy.’

11) The Information Capital by James Cheshire and Oliver Uberti

‘When do police helicopters catch criminals? Which borough of London is the happiest? Is “czesc” becoming a more common greeting than “salaam”? Geographer James Cheshire and designer Oliver Uberti could tell you, but they’d rather show you.’


Data Journalism

data journalism

12) The Data Journalism Handbook by Jonathan Gray, Lucy Chambers, and Liliana Bounegru

‘This valuable handbook has attracted scores of contributors since the European Journalism Centre and the Open Knowledge Foundation launched the project at MozFest 2011. Through a collection of tips and techniques from leading journalists, professors, software developers, and data analysts, you’ll learn how data can be either the source of data journalism or a tool with which the story is told—or both.’

13) Good Charts: The HBR Guide to Making Smarter, More Persuasive Data Visualizations by Scott Berinato

‘In Good Charts, dataviz maven Scott Berinato provides an essential guide to how visualization works and how to use this new language to impress and persuade. Dataviz today is where spreadsheets and word processors were in the early 1980s—on the cusp of changing how we work.’

14) Finding Stories in Spreadsheets by Paul Bradshaw

‘One spreadsheet can tell many stories. You just have to know the right questions to ask. Based on a decade of training journalists and working with news organisations on data-driven stories, Finding Stories In Spreadsheets outlines the techniques for asking the right questions of data using tools like Excel and Google spreadsheets.’

15) Scraping for Journalists by Paul Bradshaw

‘Scraping for Journalists introduces you to a range of scraping techniques – from very simple scraping techniques which are no more complicated than a spreadsheet formula, to more complex challenges such as scraping databases or hundreds of documents.’

16) Storytelling with Data by Cole Nussbaumer Knaflic

‘Storytelling with Data teaches you the fundamentals of data visualization and how to communicate effectively with data. You’ll discover the power of storytelling and the way to make data a pivotal point in your story.’

17) Data Journalism: Mapping the Future edited by John Mair and Richard Lance Keeble

‘Programmers are coming into newsrooms, journalists are venturing further into programming and there is some blurring where the two meet. Data journalism is certainly becoming the Big Buzz Story in the media but so far little has been written about it. This, jargon-free text, provides an original and thought-provoking insight into data journalism.’

18) Facts are Sacred by Simon Rogers

‘Now, the most telling findings from the “Guardian’s” award-winning datablog are brought together to give us the facts and figures behind the headlines, beautifully illustrated with extensive data visualizations. Ground-breaking and fascinating, it celebrates a resource that has pushed the boundaries of modern journalism and is a manifesto for a new way of seeing things.’

19) Interactive Journalism: Hackers, Data, and Code by Nikki Usher

‘Nikki Usher brings together a comprehensive portrait of nothing less than a new journalistic identity. Usher provides a comprehensive history of the impact of digital technology on reporting, photojournalism, graphics, and other disciplines that define interactive journalism.’

20) The Wall Street Journal Guide to Information Graphics: The Dos and Don’ts of Presenting Data, Facts, and Figures by Dona M. Wong

‘In today’s data-driven world, professionals need to know how to express themselves in the language of graphics effectively and eloquently. Yet information graphics is rarely taught in schools or is the focus of on-the-job training. Now, for the first time, Dona M. Wong, a student of the information graphics pioneer Edward Tufte, makes this material available for all of us.’

21) The Data Journalist: Getting the Story by Fred Vallance-Jones and David McKie

‘The Data Journalist: Getting the Story is the definitive introduction to using data and technology in reporting for both journalism students and working practitioners. The text covers both the basics and more advanced techniques, discussing what data is, where it is stored, how it can be used, and, ultimately, how it can drive incredible journalism.’


Data Visualization

data visualization

22) Dear Data by Giorgia Lupi and Stefanie Posavec

‘For one year, Giorgia Lupi, an Italian living in New York, and Stefanie Posavec, an American in London, mapped the particulars of their daily lives as a series of hand-drawn postcards they exchanged via mail weekly—small portraits as full of emotion as they are data, both mundane and magical.’

23) The Book of Trees: Visualizing Branches of Knowledge by Manuel Lima

‘Data viz expert Manuel Lima examines the more than eight hundred year history of the tree diagram, from its roots in the illuminated manuscripts of medieval monasteries to its current resurgence as an elegant means of visualization. Lima presents two hundred intricately detailed tree diagram illustrations on a remarkable variety of subjects.’

24) The Book of Circles: Visualizing Spheres of Knowledge by Manuel Lima

‘In this follow-up to his hugely popular The Book of Trees and Visual Complexity, Manuel Lima takes us on a lively tour through millennia of circular information design. Three hundred detailed and colorful illustrations from around the world cover an encyclopedic array of subjects–architecture, urban planning, fine art, design, fashion, technology, religion, cartography, biology, astronomy, and physics, all based on the circle, the universal symbol of unity, perfection, movement, and infinity.’

25) The Elements of Graphing Data 2nd Edition by William S. Cleveland

‘Contains graphical methods and principles for visualizing data in science and technology. Emphasizes the basic ideas, methods, and principles for creating readable graphs.’

26) Data Visualisation: A Handbook for Data Driven Design by Andy Kirk

‘Never has it been more essential to work in the world of data. Scholars and students need to be able to analyze, design and curate information into useful tools of communication, insight and understanding. This book is the starting point in learning the process and skills of data visualization.’

27) Visualizing Data by Ben Fry

‘Enormous quantities of data go unused or underused today, simply because people can’t visualize the quantities and relationships in it. Using a downloadable programming environment developed by the author, Visualizing Data demonstrates methods for representing data accurately on the Web and elsewhere, complete with user interaction, animation, and more.’

28) Show Me the Numbers: Designing Tables and Graphs to Enlighten, Second Edition by Stephen Few

‘We use tables and graphs to communicate quantitative information: the critical numbers that measure the health, identify the opportunities, and forecast the future of our organizations. Even the best information is useless, however, if its story is poorly told.’

29) Information Dashboard Design by Stephen Few

‘A leader in the field of data visualization, Stephen Few exposes the common problems in dashboard design and describes its best practices in great detail and with a multitude of examples in this updated second edition. According to the author, dashboards have become a popular means to present critical information at a glance, yet few do so effectively.’

30) The Accidental Analyst: Show Your Data Who’s Boss by Eileen and Stephen McDaniel

‘Although you didn’t plan for a career as a data analyst, you’re now in a position where you have to analyze data to be successful. Whether you’ve been working with data for a few years or are just getting started, you can learn how to analyze your data to find answers to real-world questions.’

31) Information Graphics by Sandra Rendgen and Julius Wiedemann

‘This unique book presents a fascinating perspective on the subject, highlighting the work of the masters of the profession who have created a number of breakthroughs that have changed the way we communicate. Information Graphics has been conceived and designed not just for graphics professionals, but for anyone interested in the history and practice of communicating visually.’

32) Visualize This: The FlowingData Guide to Design, Visualization, and Statistics by Nathan Yau

‘With this full-color book, data visualization guru and author Nathan Yau uses step-by-step tutorials to show you how to visualize and tell stories with data. He explains how to gather, parse, and format data and then design high-quality graphics that help you explore and present patterns, outliers, and relationships.’

33) Data Points: Visualization That Means Something by Nathan Yau

‘Whether it’s statistical charts, geographic maps, or the snappy graphical statistics you see on your favorite news sites, the art of data graphics or visualization is fast becoming a movement of its own. In Data Points: Visualization That Means Something, author Nathan Yau presents an intriguing complement to his bestseller Visualize This, this time focusing on the graphics side of data analysis.’

34) Cool Infographics by Randy Krum

‘This innovative book presents the design process and the best software tools for creating infographics that communicate. Including a special section on how to construct the increasingly popular infographic resume, the book offers graphic designers, marketers, and business professionals vital information on the most effective ways to present data.’

35) Data at Work by Jorge Camões

‘Data at Work was written with you, the spreadsheet user, in mind. This book will teach you how to think about and organize data in ways that directly relate to your work, using the skills you already have. In other words, you don’t need to be a graphic designer to create functional, elegant charts: this book will show you how.’

36) Designing Data Visualizations: Representing Informational Relationships by Noah Iliinsky and Julie Steele

‘Data visualization is an efficient and effective medium for communicating large amounts of information, but the design process can often seem like an unexplainable creative endeavor. This concise book aims to demystify the design process by showing you how to use a linear decision-making process to encode your information visually.’

37) Beautiful Visualization: Looking at Data through the Eyes of Experts edited by Noah Iliinsky and Julie Steele

‘This book examines the methods of two dozen visualization experts who approach their projects from a variety of perspectives — as artists, designers, commentators, scientists, analysts, statisticians, and more. Together they demonstrate how visualization can help us make sense of the world.’

38) The Functional Art by Alberto Cairo

‘In this practical introduction to understanding and using information graphics, you’ll learn how to use data visualizations as tools to see beyond lists of numbers and variables and achieve new insights into the complex world around us.’

39) The Truthful Art by Alberto Cairo

‘In this highly anticipated follow-up to The Functional Art—Alberto Cairo’s foundational guide to understanding information graphics and visualization—the respected data visualization professor explains in clear terms how to work with data, discover the stories hidden within, and share those stories with the world in the form of charts, maps, and infographics.’

40) Knowledge is Beautiful by David McCandless

‘Knowledge is Beautiful is a fascinating spin through the world of visualized data, all of it bearing the hallmark of David McCandless’s boundary-breaking, signature style. The captivating follow-up to the bestseller The Visual Miscellaneum, Knowledge is Beautiful offers a deeper, more ranging look at the world and its history.’

41) Envisioning Information by Edward Tufte

‘This book celebrates escapes from the flatlands of both paper and computer screen, showing superb displays of high-dimensional complex data. The most design-oriented of Edward Tufte’s books, Envisioning Information shows maps, charts, scientific presentations, diagrams, computer interfaces, statistical graphics and tables, stereo photographs, guidebooks, courtroom exhibits, timetables, use of color, a pop-up, and many other wonderful displays of information.’

42) Visual Explanations by Edward Tufte

‘Describes design strategies – the proper arrangement in space and time of images, words, and numbers – for presenting information about motion, process, mechanism, cause, and effect. Examines the logic of depicting quantitative evidence.’

43) Beautiful Evidence by Edward Tufte

‘Science and art have in common intense seeing, the wide-eyed observing that generates visual information. Beautiful Evidence is about how seeing turns into showing, how data and evidence turn into explanation.’

44) The Visual Display of Quantitative Information by Edward Tufte

‘The classic book on statistical graphics, charts, tables. Theory and practice in the design of data graphics, 250 illustrations of the best (and a few of the worst) statistical graphics, with detailed analysis of how to display data for precise, effective, quick analysis.’

45) Interactive Data Visualization for the Web by Scott Murray

‘Create and publish your own interactive data visualization projects on the Web—even if you have little or no experience with data visualization or web development. It’s easy and fun with this practical, hands-on introduction. Author Scott Murray teaches you the fundamental concepts and methods of D3, a JavaScript library that lets you express data visually in a web browser.’

46) D3.js in Action 1st Edition by Elijah Meeks

‘D3.js in Action is a practical tutorial for creating interactive graphics and data-driven applications using D3.js. You’ll start with in-depth explanations of D3’s out-of-the-box layouts, along with dozens of practical use cases that align with different types of visualizations.’

47) Data Visualization with Python and JavaScript by Kyran Dale

‘Learn how to turn raw data into rich, interactive web visualizations with the powerful combination of Python and JavaScript. With this hands-on guide, author Kyran Dale teaches you how build a basic dataviz toolchain with best-of-breed Python and JavaScript libraries—including Scrapy, Matplotlib, Pandas, Flask, and D3—for crafting engaging, browser-based visualizations.’

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