A man’s move to Alaska becomes his sister’s data viz pet project

Kitten atop an analog data viz piece
Kitten atop an analog data viz piece

When my brother Robby asked me to join him on his drive to Alaska last summer — he was moving from Del Rio, Texas, to Palmer, Alaska, for his next U.S. Air Force assignment — I’ll admit I wasn’t pumped about the idea of using five vacation days to sit in a car. I was, however, delighted by the possibility of having extended one-on-one bonding time with him. (As a father of three youngsters, he isn’t exactly swimming in free time, and we’ve lived about 2,000 miles apart for over five years.)

I was also thrilled because it seemed like an experience ripe for data viz — we’d surely have ample time to collect data on the drive, and there would be a lot of changing variables: geographical position, temperature, and country, to name a few. I’d been meaning to do an analog, collect-your-own-data visualization project for a while, and finally I had the perfect opportunity. …


Reflections on a data visualization panel discussion with Nadieh Bremer, Jill Hubley, and Shirley Wu

By Katherine Mello and Ripley Cleghorn

Earlier this October, the New York data visualization community was treated to an intimate panel with Nadieh Bremer, Jill Hubley, and Shirley Wu, moderated by Sarah Kay Miller. The hour-long session gave a peek into what this journey has been like for them — everything from the struggles and challenges to the inspiration and motivation involved with creating data visualizations. Two members of the Data Visualization Society — a dataviz designer and a dataviz engineer — share their takeaways from the event.

(See bottom of article for the full video of the event.)

Moderator Sarah Kay and panelists Jill, Nadieh, and Shirley
Moderator Sarah Kay and panelists Jill, Nadieh, and Shirley
From L to R: Sarah Kay, Jill, Nadieh, and Shirley (Photo credit: https://twitter.com/ale_zotta)

How do we deal with the dreaded “Imposter Syndrome”?

It was at the same time disheartening and encouraging to hear that these women — leaders in the field with a proven track record of awesome projects (I mean, have you checked out their websites?) and role models to many of us — also struggle with imposter syndrome. …


Pursuing Creativity in Data Visualization
Pursuing Creativity in Data Visualization

Pursuing Creativity in Data Visualization

Many of us seek to unleash our creativity, but how exactly can we do that?

In the last chapter of his book (or should I say “multi-sensory voyage”?) Info We Trust, RJ Andrews details his suggested approach to the creative process:

“To be creative, first, fill up your mental hopper with concepts…then carve out time and space for creative intersections to fire.”

He compares this second step in the process to the “mental wanderings during a hot shower.” I call this the Am I clean right now? effect:

I step in the shower, turn on the water. After an indeterminate amount of time, I turn off the water. Then I think to myself, “Hold on, Katherine. Have you shampooed yet? …

About

Katherine Mello

Data Visualization Engineer

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