Browsing through the eyeo festival site to see exactly which sessions I want to sit in on, and wanted to feature a handful of those that are most relevant to my life and work. These choices are necessarily geared toward the visualization and data analysis spectrum, versus the more art/music/coding presentations that will be shared, although many of those appear to be fascinating as well.
Aaron Koblin has a session titled 'Data Arts', described as 'An overview of some recent projects and libraries created by members of the Google Data Arts Team.' Google is always up to something on the data front, so it will be interesting to see and hear what's new.
Fernanda Viegas and Martin Wattenberg of ManyEyes fame will discourse on 'Seeing Invisible Influences'. This sounds like a potentially fascinating topic as the eyeo site describes it: 'We’ll talk about how we use visualization to spark the joy of revelation–mapping the invisible forces that surround us, from social networks to the play of the wind. To sweeten the pot, we’ll show embarrassing outtakes from our design process.'
Amanda Cox of the New York Times will hold court on 'Complex, Big, Etc.', described as: 'So many of the words used to describe contemporary data visualization are so often very wrong. An examination of the claim “The future has an ancient heart,” through the lens of NYT graphics.' The NYT produces some of the best static graphics out there, so it will be interesting to hear her views.
Nicholas Felton will talk about data storytelling in his session 'A Man of Few Words'. Visual storytelling is a powerful tool when executed properly, so I look forward to learning some things here. His cursory description of the session: 'A survey of recent experiments with quantitative storytelling, the resulting projects and processes.'
'Near/Far' is the title of Jer Thorp's session, and sounds fascinating as well as relevant to all data analysts & visualizers. 'In this session, Jer will share a variety of new work that explores the concept and experience of location. He’ll show projects that engage with local, personal data, as well as visualizations of systems of astronomical size. He’ll discuss the importance of engaging with the character of data sets, and will share a variety of strategies and techniques for working with locational data. Along the way, he’ll share all kinds of tips and techniques, and probably tell a fair number of bad jokes.'
Manuel Lima heads up a panel discussion titled 'The Power of Networks'. Netwsorks have assumed a critical role in analysis and visualization circles in recent years, largely due to the emergence of social networks like Facebook and Twitter. Here's the description: 'Network visualization has experienced a meteoric rise in the last decade, bringing together people from various fields and capturing the interest of individuals across the globe. As the practice continues to shed light on an incredible array of complex issues, it keeps drawing attention back onto itself. This talk will explore a critical paradigm shift in various areas of knowledge, as we stop relying on hierarchical tree structures and turn instead to networks in order to map the inherent complexities of our modern world. The talk will also showcase a variety of captivating examples of network visualization and introduce the network topology as a new cultural meme.'
The following morning, Moritz Stefaner will also address networks in 'OMG – It's All Connected'. The summary: 'Once again, Moritz will report from his practice as a Truth and Beauty Operator. This time, he will focus on the visualization of large networks – an important, but also difficult endeavor. We will learn how to avoid the notorious hairball visualizations, which promising new layout strategies have been developed, and how interaction can help to untangle intertwined interconnectedness in complex data sets.' Should be a great session.
Finally, Wes Grubbs will present on 'Generative Cognition and Memory', a session designed to explore the inter-relationship between humans and data. '“The pure and simple truth is rarely pure and never simple” – Oscar Wilde. Our comprehension and understanding of our surroundings and new information result from amazing processes within our brains. While Wes is far from a neural scientist, he will explain some of the inner workings of the human mind and how we can use this to visualize information, build user interfaces, explore and question everything in order to make sense of the perceived realities. While this path is anything but simple, Wes will provide creative-and technically-oriented minds with a machete of thought to hack through the complex jungle of story telling with data.' Great stuff.
While there are many other though provoking topics and presenters, these are the ones most likely to stand out for me, get my brain engaged, and lead to future creative bursts. Can't wait!