Data Analysis, Data Science, Graphicacy, Graphical comprehension, Numeracy, Data visualization, Map literacy


Wilke, Claus O. 2019. Fundamentals of Data Visualization: A Primer on Making Informative and Compelling Figures. (Sebastopol, CA: O’Reilly Media, Inc.). 390 pp. ISBN 978-1-492-03108-6. First edition. First release: 03-15-2019.

Claus O. Wilke has authored an excellent reference about producing and understanding static figures, figures used online, in print, and for presentations. His book is neither a statistics nor programming text, but familiarity with basic statistical concepts is helpful. Written in three parts, the book presents both the math and artistic design aspects of telling a story through figures. Wilke makes extensive use of examples, labels them good, bad, wrong or ugly, and explains why he deems them so. He includes chapters that serve as a directory of visualizations, and the reader will encounter familiar figure types as well as more esoteric ones. He discusses aesthetic considerations, including color, that make figures more compelling, and provides tips to connect with the audience to tell a story. Wilke intends the book for those producing figures, but consumers of graphical content will also find it helpful as his clear and concise style – and his effective use of examples – will help them evaluate the worth of figures they encounter.



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