Representing mind-boggling differences

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

By Kevin den Dulk

The New York Times’ “Opinionator” has a fascinating article on “Visualizing Vastness,” that is, how to represent visually things or ideas that are really, really big.  A classic example is Charles and Ray Eames’ “Power of Ten,” which takes us from the vastness of the universe to the atomic level in less than ten minutes.

Read to the end for a discussion about representing another example of vast differences: economic inequality in the United States.


Visualizing Public Life Contest

Thursday, September 20, 2012

By Andrew Disselkoen

Contest Details

Visualizing Public Life is a rare opportunity to develop cutting-edge visualization skills.  But being involved in a contest doesn’t naturally produce cutting-edge and inspiring visualization.  Skills must be developed.  Look here for visualization workshop details as well as a downloadable one page information sheet. 

Download PDF


October 9, 16, 30, 2012

Visualization workshop
DCC 110, 6-9pm

November 1, 6, 2012

Visualization open house
DCC 110, 6-9pm

March 15, 2013

Submissions due

March 25-27, 2013

Public display at Henry Symposium

How big is government? Visualizing U.S. government expenditure

Thursday, September 13, 2012

By Andrew Disselkoen

In the heat of an election, one often wonders just how big is government?  Is government spending out of control?  How much does government spend on health care, defense, or another sector of the economy?  Hopefully these visualizations will help you grasp the size of government spending. 

Click “Read More” to see the graphics. 


The Value of Money

Tuesday, September 04, 2012

By Andrew Disselkoen

Almost everyday politicians, journalists, and lobbyists bombard the public with the financial costs of various government programs, corporate profits, or wage inequality.  Money is distributed in countless ways, but it is often difficult to determine how much something costs.  One can throw around numerals in the millions, billions, or even trillions, but comprehending the magnitude of those figures escapes most.  Not anymore.  Randall Munroe’s “Money” provides a map as to the value of money and the costs of within the economy.  Costs are relative and this visualization shows how expensive some things really are. 


Randall Munroe

Finding a Color Scheme

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

By Andrew Disselkoen

Building a color scheme that works well with your visualization can be a daunting task.  Unless you have extensive training in graphic design or art, finding colors that work together can easily stall any visualization project.  While standard colors work for internal use, custom color palettes bring a level of professionalism to any presentation.  Give your presentation a professional touch!

Below are three helpful references for finding a great color palette:

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