For All Assignments you are to write at the bottom of your assignment write the following "I have neither given nor received aid while working on this assignment. I have completed the graded portion BEFORE looking at anyone else's work on this assignment. Signed YOUR NAME".


Assignment 0

Before the start of the first class please
  • Put your gmail account information in this google spreadsheet InfoVis Roster
  • Review the course webpages.
  • Join the class listserv. Add yourself to Course Listserv
  • Learn how to use our Class Work pages (linked off of main page, click on Class Work #1--this is where we put our work) by making a page under A0 folder (make page labeled with your name), and edit it to put in some text and a picture. In our first class you'll have to put your work up on the class work wiki, so you'll have a head start if you're already familiar with using it.
  • Bring your laptop to class (every class)

Assignment 1

1. Find two example visualizations, one GOOD and one BAD. Put them on the class work wiki under Assignment 1 page. Make a page for your work using your name and put your work there for others to see (you can link to materials in other locations). Describe what you think is good or bad about the visualization.

2. Add to what you have a "what you would like to learn" category, and place here examples, or written descriptions of what you'd like to learn in this class.

3. At the newspaper where you work, your editor has asked you to make a chart for a story on increasing tuitions. The story compares tuition increases at 6 universities over the past 5 years. Your job is to make a visualization to go in the newspaper which will communicate to the readers what the current tuitions are (and allow for easy comparison), and most importantly, what the tuition increases are (and how the percentage increases compare). Excel File

4. Create a basic visualization that would serve as an introduction to you (e.g., a map of places you've been, a collage/wordle/mindmap of things that interest you, time series (chronological) narrative, whatever). Best is something unusual that I haven't suggested above! You have creative license.

Assignment 2

  1. Practice critical review. You are to provide a critique of a visualization of your choice. Your "review" should contain positive and negative points, and should also be worded in a constructive, friendly manner (think how you would want to receive feedback. Be sure to place the image of the visual you are critiquing on your class work page, as well as a link.

  2. Redo Assignment 1 part 3 (Tuition visualization) using what you learned in the last class. Try to make a really good looking visualization! Put your new visualization under A2.

Assignment 3

1) Find examples of the following types of visualizations (or make your own up, including making the visualization) for the following. Divide into groups of 4. Each group is responsible for presenting one visualization for each of the 16 types below. Put your group work together on your Assignment page.

Generic Variables

One Variable:

  • Nominal
  • Ordinal
  • Continuous

Two Variables:

  • Nominal + Nominal
  • Nominal + Ordinal
  • Nominal + Continuous
  • Ordinal + Ordinal
  • Ordinal + Continuous
  • Continuous + Continuous

Three Variables:

  • any combination of 3 (nominal, ordinal, continuous)
  • 3D spatial plus 1D continuous variable

Spatial Variables (Cartography/Map)

  • Spatial Coordinates + 1D
  • Spatial Coordinates + 2D (any combination of nominal, ordinal, continuous)


  • Temporal + 1D
  • Temporal + 2D (any combination of nominal, ordinal, continuous)

Network (Node/Link)

  • Any thing of this type.

2) Evaluate the following visualizations and describe the data types involved, any mapping and processing of the data that occurred on the raw data before it was visualized. Provide a good estimate if it is not easy to discover the data sources.

Assignment 4

You will be working with color choices for interfaces. You will need to use screen capture methods to grab parts of the screen and paste into our class work wiki as images (snagit, PrtSrc, etc).

1) Critique the choice of color scheme for two of the followig four websites. (don't include picture of website, just provide your critique for each).
Project Romeo
Internet Public Library 2
International Children's Digital Library

2) Explore Adobe Kuler.
(a) Pick a color scale that appeals to you (independent of visualization). Cut & Paste it in your assignment work (using screen capture tool)
(b) Using Kuler pick one color scheme (3-5 elements) for one of the four above examples (your choice), that would improve the visualization. Explain why it would be a better choice.

3) Explore Color Scheme Designer.
a) Using Color Scheme Designer explore the use of different types of color schemes, in particular the ones they provide presets for: mono, complement, tria, tetrad, analogic, and accented highlight.
b) Chose a single color scheme you like the best for their Preview example. Note that you can modify the values on the color wheel after you select it. Cut and paste the resulting image to your assignment page, and write short description of why you like it. You can use either light or dark Preview (or both)
c) check how well your choice works for colorblindness (deuteranomaly). Then see if you can find a Tetrad color scheme choice that would be significantly affected by deuteranomaly as compared to normal color vision. Cut & paste into your class work page the rectangular block visualizations for the two conditions (normal and deuteranomaly). Note, I don't think the tool properly applies the color blindness to the website Preview, only the color block preview, so use Vizcheck to produce image.

4) Expore the Color Brewer tool. Read the "How to Use". Try the different types of visualizations (single vs mulit hue; solid vs terrain; with and without road, cities, borders). Then design what you think is an optimal design for each of these three challenges (separate designs for each challenge). Include your resulting image and brief statement of your design choice.
a) Depicting Storm damage costs, for hurricance striking FL, to inform government in how to provide aid.
b) depicting average summer temperature, for helping choose a place to build a vacation home in the southeast. You want your temperate zone to be the middle 20% of the values depicted.
c) For each county you know which ethnic group has the largest population (there are 6 ethnic groups). The polictical party in power wants to redistrict the southeast part of the nation. Make a map to depict the distribution of ethnic groups.

Assignment 5

You are to apply your knowledge of good perceptual design to visualization examples on the web. Please do not choose examples on sites of "good" or "bad" visualizations. Find your own. News stories (NY Times, USA Today, etc), and scientific visualizations are a good sources. You can use any materials that you can freely acces on the web (including previous classwork from our class). Include a picture of the visualization with your writeup. followed by your review.

1) Good Example: Find one good example of a visualization that you think demonstrates good design based on perceptual and cognition factors. Explain why.

2) Bad Examples: Find two bad examples of visualizations that you think demonstrates bad design based on perceptual and cognition factors. Explain why.

3) Evaluate the following example for how well you think their design follows perceptual and cognition factors (based on our limited discussion so far): Botanical Tree, figures 12 and 13

Midterm Project

You are to create a visualization for one of the suggested projects (below) or a project of your choosing. If you choose the project you need to verify with instructor that it is appropriate. Because we have not learned or practiced most of the visualization techniques yet, this project is focused more on the design of your project (with respect to CUT-DDV model), exploring one or more techniques for visualization. You may build your actual visualization or mock one up (via graphical presentation or sketch or make physical model).

Your first job is to form a team to be on and create a project description. A team can be 1-4 members. You can choose from existing project or make up your own. You must define your Project Description as

  • what you want to do
  • why it is interesting to you
  • scope of project
  • assignment of duties to project team
  • expected deliverable

You will present your project description at the next class. You have 3 minutes to present it. You should place your project description on the class work page (and ultimately a link to your project).

Suggested Projects

My first suggestion is to do something that is interesting to YOU!

If you're having a tough time coming up with something, here are some suggestions

Olympics Data Set Excel My favorite choice. :-). Present some combinations like

  • medals by country (on map?)
  • medals in specific sport by country
  • be able to show proportional representations of number of each type of medals (gold, silver, bronze) in each event by country.

Crime Statistics
Crime Data Set Excel

  • By map location (state, or preferably by city) show total crimes
  • show crimes vs population for map location
  • show breakdown of different crimes, perhaps for just one state

War casualities
US Causalities Data Set Excel US causalities in Afghanistan and Iraq.

  • by state
  • hostiles killed/wounded
  • difference between estimates and actuals

UK causalities in Afghanistan
UK Causalities Excel

  • by rank
  • cause
  • by age
  • show caption (paragraph for paper) on mouse over or similar

Cars Dataset

Flight Delays
Flight Delays DataSet Excel Visualization delays on Seattle flights.

Find your own DataSet! :-).
Visualize with at least 3 different visualizations (probably mostly graph based). Show friend to friend connections, show connection through other attributes, like similar interests.

Next two are fairly easy examples. You will need to do more work with them to get equivalently good grade as harder piece of work.

Soda or Pop? Drink Naming Conventions Excel Data set This is a simple dataset. It contains data on preferences for how people refer to soda/pop/coke by state (numbers are percentages). If you choose this you will need to visualize the data multiple ways (at least 3 for each task below) and compare them. You should at a minimum prepare visualizations for these two tasks:

  • show by state displaying only the most favorite name used
  • show by state all naming conventions, and indicate freq of use

Cereals Cereals Excel Data set This is a simple dataset. If you choose this you will need to visualize the data multiple ways (at least 3 for each task below) and compare them. You should at a minimum prepare visualizations for these two tasks:

  • show amounts of certain ingredient types per cereal
  • group across same manufacturers and display averages for ingredients

Assignment 6

Follow the instructions for making a TimelineJS timeline using these instructions Creating Visual Timelines. Create your own visual timeline to tell a story. Include at least 10 events, hopefully including images for all them, and choose something of interest to you, that makes for a good story line.

Assignment 7

You are to produce quality visualization(s) for each of the following two datasets. Your visualization(s) should be chart or graph visualization.


Visualization #1: As a whole, which of these factors {Gender, Age, Years with Company} correlate most strongly (positively or negatively) with salary? You may use one or more visualizations. Strive for clarity and brevity.

Visualization #2: Show age distribution in company grouped by WorkType. I.e. age distribution for Clerical, Management, etc.

Dataset: Salary Excel; Salary XPS; Salary csv


Want a single visualization (one picture, no multiples) to be able to answer:

  • Which region has largest overall sales revenue?
  • Which regions are growing in sales revenue?
  • Which region is trending upwards the best in sales revenue?
  • Qualitatively how does region X compare to region Y in sales?

DataSet: Sales Excel, Sales XPS Sales csv

Assignment 8-- Deprecated

Scientific Visualizations
Choose one of the RENCi visualizations (anyone except the three we covered in class on March 1, i.e. not Storm Surge, Particle Flow/CFD, Author Co-Citation Network). You're welcome to use one you've already reviewed. For this visualization

  • characterize it according to our CUTT-AD-DDV framework (1/2 page)
  • critique as we have practiced in class (1/2 page)
  • propose a better visualization. You should work within today's technology but not be constrained by expense, i.e. assume you can have virtual world eyeglasses, or a cave, or a supercomputer to calculate the 3D flow of particles. (1 page plus figure)

Technology Driven Change
Assume that everyone has virtual reality glasses (half silvered so you can see virtual reality and real life, separately or superimposed), that you have high bandwidth internet to your glasses, a dataglove hand for HCI. Describe an application that you think would benefit greatly from such technology. Describe the current state of visualization affairs, what your idea is for better visualization, and why it would be a huge improvement. (1-2 pages) (Dataglove example video start at 1:20 in)

Assignment 9

Provide 2 reviews of someone else's midterm projects. Sign up for which reviews you are doing on the midterm presentation schedule page in the Reviewer Sign Up Sheet at end of page.

Single person projects should have exactly 2 reviewers (i.e. everyone will receive two student reviews). For groups you should have 2 reviewer times the number in the group (2 members = 4 reviewers, 3 member = 6 reviewers).

First come first serve on signing up for reviews, so if there are already a full set of reviews on the one you want to do, you must find another one to review.

In your review be positive and constructive. Highlight things they did well. Offer constructive criticism and suggestions for things they might improve. Think of yourself as a consultant who has been asked to help improve this project. Think about what you would want to hear if you were receiving the feedback.

Assignment 10

GIS/MAP assignment

In Tableau, bring up their provided SUPERSTORE example, which should be on the bottom of the Connect Home page (in Sample Workbooks at bottom). (If it's not provided as example in your version of Tableau, access it here Superstore Dataset. Save it out as a file, then open with Tableau).

Create a new worksheet (first entry under worksheet, ^M, or 6th icon on toolbar). Then drag State (under Dimension>Location) into Marks area (right below Detail and Tooltip buttons. This will create map (with blue dots on states). Then drag Sales (under Measures) onto COLOR button under Marks. Now you should have your first chloropeth map!

Your assignment is to create good spatial MAP visualizations that show
(1) sales in US by state
(2) single presentation of Order Profitability (continuous variable), with interactive filter to control showing which Segments (Dimensions>Customer>Segment) are displayed.
(3) small multiples presentation Order Profitablility by the three Segments. Discuss whethere you think version (2) or (3) works better for understanding big picture of orders profitable by segement.
(4) single image visualization that shows sales and profits by each state
(5) single image visualization that shows sales, profits, and quantity
You should put your worksheets into dashboards, and compile into story for easy display.

For extra credit (to get beyound 92, make up your own interesting visualization from this data. I suggest making a complicated dashboard, perhaps along the lines of the Overivew "Executive Overview-Profitability" provided with the example, or a larger small multiples example, with interactive controls.
You must post your work to Tableau Public to receive credit. Put a link to your Tableau Public published result on your class work page.

Assignment 11

We will work with using interactive controls and animations to

  • tell stories better
  • perform exploratory analytics

We will make use of the Gapminder tool and Google Motion Charts class instructions on using them. You are to do three things:

1. Gapminder Data Page Select "age of first marriage". Choose to display it (rightmost icon on that line). This will bring up a display of "age of first marriage vs GDP". Answer the following questions with a brief description and both a single static picture, and a description of how to interact with the visualization to see this in an interactive/animated form.

  • when was the US the most different from everyone else (over what 20 year span, across the entire time period, was the US circle more of an outlier from everyone else)?
  • how would you show how the US's age of first marriange has changed over the entire time period?

2. Gapminder Data Page Select "crude birth rate". Choose to display it (rightmost icon on that line). This will bring up a display of "crude birth rate vs GDP". Answer the following questions with a brief description and a single static picture.

  • when did North Korea have it's most dramatic reversal of birthrate? (precipitous decline followed by restoration). What range of years?
  • make a display that shows this as a story.

3. Choose a dataset that interests you from gapminder datasets and download into Excel. Then download this into Google Docs. Make your own google motion chart visualization. Instructions on how to do this are on our Tutorials Page. You should

  • Create a static visualization that tells a story. Provide a brief written description.
  • Create a dynamic visualization (describe what one should do to experience this)

Note, Google just updated their sheets interface, and motion charts are now hard to find, and don't come up as recommended. Don't worry, you can still find them. Select the data in your Google Sheet you want to make a motion chart from. Then

  1. click on INSERT tab at top
  2. select CHART in drop down menu
  3. click on CHART TYPE tab near top
  4. then scroll the resulting list with scroll bar until you see chart with bubbles, and click on this to get motion chart. This is the trickest part because it's easy to miss the scrollbar control on right side of list and think there are no more optoins. Motion charts is in the last group labeled "other".

WARNING: Changing the data from Excel dump from Gapminder to use in Google Docs REQUIRES that you transpose the data. See the tutorials page for instructions to help you with this. It is OK to just transpose some but not all the rows as there may be many in your dataset. It is easiest to just delete rows while in Excel (before you transpose them to Google Docs).

HINT: for looking at things over time, you can indicate that the user just use the slider bar to control the display of time. For static summary picture you can click on a country's circle then move through time and it will leave trace circles showing the path.

NOTE: if Gapminder WORLD is offline, then you can use gapminder tools instead. To do so, go to To do Assignment parts (1) and (2) you'll need to manually select the datasets. You can do this by clicking on the labels for the horizaontal and vertical axes. This will bring up interface allowing you to pick which dataset to use for that axis. You will then select the desired datasets.
Part 1:
Y axis: Age at 1st marriage: SELECT (Popluation > Age at 1st marriage)
X axis: Income per person, $/year (GDP/capita) SELECT (Income)

Part 2:
Y axis: Crude birth rate births per 1,000 population: SELECT (Popluation > Population Growth > Crude Birth Rate)
X axis: Income per person, $/year (GDP/capita) SELECT (Income)

Also, currently in Gapminder Tools, if you want to use traces, you'll need to select at least one country for the interface to bring up the Traces tool icon. To access other controls, clikc on the OPTIONS icon.

Assignment 12

Network Graphs

Install Gephi on your laptop (
Based on "Quick Start" tutorial (, create the following visualizations for the Les Miserables dataset.

make visual with labels turned on (usually start off). Experiment with the size of the node's text. Under Nodes>Attribute click on tT table icon on far right top. Then set to something like 10 min to 100 max. Find a setting you like the best, and make a visualization (vis0).

Node Color/Layout:
Appearance TAB>Node>Attribute> click Palette icon (top right) to do

  • node coloring based on degree (default) (vis1)
  • monochromatic 3 colors (vis2)
  • categorical hue scale with 5 colors (vis3)
  • node coloring based on "modularity class" (must calculate modularity class first, in FILTERS) (vis4)
  • Choose your favorite of these and explain why you like it best.

    Edge Color/Layout: (using your favorite visual from last (Node) section as basis)
    change the coloring on the edges to be

  • monochromatic (vis5)
  • same as source node (vis6)
  • have thickness of line show strength of link (vis7)

    Filtering (right side tab)
    Topology>Degree Range: (drag to Queries, then set values to 15-31). (vis8).

    make visualizations with these techniques(you can choose parameters, number in parenthesis is just a suggested starting point).

  • Force Atlas (repulsion 10000), (vis9))
  • Fruchtermann Reingold (area 4000), Y (vis10)
  • ifan Hu Proportional (Optimal distance ~200). (vis11)

    1. Show the top five (most connnections) characters, including their names. Highlight them, while showing the whole network. (vis12)
    2. Which characters have only one connection to another character? Highlight them in overall network (vis13)
    3. Show which characters Valjean is directly related to, highlighting them within the whole network. (i.e. via node (size, color, etc) or edge characteristics (size,color, shape) so we can easily distinguish them.(vis14)
    4. What is the shortest (connected) path from Valjean to Fantine?(vis15)

    Assignment 13

    Tableau Visualization Work.

    Final Project

    First choice: something meaningful to you.

    Other suggestions:

    • Do a better "UNC next bus". Related to this....Transit - There's an App for that. 1/10/2011 GoTriangle is making transit transparent and opening all of the local area transit agencies' data files to the public! This is a great opportunity for: - Urban Planning students - Computer Science folks - Friends of Transit - YOU! Create the app of your dreams! If you are interested in creating a mobile app using GIS shape files and Google Transit Files, visit
    • depict the spatial movement of sports teams between conferences over time, including yearly payouts to conference members, payouts to leave conferences.
    • visualize the "internet"
    • Tackle a challenging visual analytics problem
    • Tackle a challenging multidimensional problem.
    You should produce a final project report that completely documents your final project. You should also make a final project presentation. (these can be the same, but you will not have enough time to present everything during your project presentation). When you make your project presentation matrial, make it with the expectation that others will view it. Thus while you might put your full report on the class work wiki (or whatever you want) be sure your presentation is something viewable on web (powerpoint, PDF, Prezi, etc). Intend it to be part of your professional portfoilo that you show to prospecive emploers So make it look GOOD!

    For your final presentations, also focus on making your presentation high quality as well as your project work and materials. Dress professionally, like you're presenting to upper management. Good luck!

    Be sure to include in your proposal and final presentation:

    • what you want to do
    • why it is interesting to you
    • scope of project
    • assignment of duties to project team
    • expected deliverable
    • Full CUTDDV (context, user, teask, data data types, data models)
    • Visualization Techniqes chosen and why
    • Explanation describing details of your creative process, including visualizations you tried (including mockups/pictures) what worked, what didn't work, why you tried what you did, and how you arrived at your final presentation.