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Grande conférence: Visual Trumpery

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Speaker: Alberto Cairo
Event date: Wednesday, 22 November 2017, 18:00 - 19:00
Place: Lecture Hall BS0.03, Limpertsberg Campus
162a, avenue de la Faïencerie
L-1511 Luxembourg


In collaboration with the European court of auditors

Speaker : Alberto Cairo, University of Miami

Here are the four questions I’ll mention during the talk to assess the quality of any data visualization:

1. Is the graphic based on reliable sources and data? Any document or news story that uses data and graphics ought to clearly identify its sources and link to them. You, the reader, must be able to check whether they are trustworthy, and whether writers and designers handled the data properly.

2. Does the graphic include enough information to be truthful? Visualizations should never simplify information. They ought to clarify it. You’ll soon understand the dierence, thanks to the examples I’ll share with you.

3. Is the data correctly represented? Data visualization is based on visual encoding. Numbers are mapped onto spatial properties of objects, like their height, length, size, color, etc. When seeing a chart, graph, or map, always ask yourself: Are the properties representing the data proportional to the data itself?

4. Did the journalist or designer take uncertainty into account? Data is hardly ever precise or certain, regardless of what visualizations and news stories often suggest. A good understanding of uncertainty and elementary probability can help you decide what to think or how to act based on what you read.

About the speaker:

Alberto Cairo, is the knight chair in visual journalism at the university of Miami. He is also director of the visualization program at UM's Center for Computational Science. Cairo has been director of infographics and multimedia at news organizations in Spain (El Mundo) and Brazil (Editora Globo), and has worked as a consultant, educator, and freelancer for organizations in more than twenty countries. He is the author of the books "The Functional Art: An introduction to information graphics and visualization" (2013) and "The Truthful Art: Data, charts, and maps for communication" (2016).