A Few Favorite Blogs about Visual Thinking

Let’s take a break from thinking about Facebook, shall we? Recently I shared some of my favorite teaching blogs and technology blogs. Today, some blogs about visual thinking:

  • FlowingData –  Nathan Yau’s blog is an impressive collection of data visualizations from around the Web. Yau is a PhD student in statistics at UCLA with a focus on data visualization, and he shares his many data visualization projects on his blog, too. Blogging led to his book, Visualize This, a practical guide to creating data visualizations that I’ll get around to buying one of these days.
  • Information Is Beautiful – David McCandless is a data journalist, information designer, and author of The Visual Miscellaneum (known as Information Is Beautiful in the UK). On his blog, McCandless shares his data visualizations, such as this interactive “balloon race” visualization of the scientific evidence for popular health supplements.
  • Cartastrophe – Daniel Huffman’s Cartastrophe blog is not only cleverly named, but also a great source of critical thinking about how maps are used and made. Huffman posts very insightful critiques of poorly made maps, critiques that have helped me better understand how people make sense of visual information. Huffman maintains a second blog, somethingaboutmaps, that’s also worth a follow.
  • Geospatial Technologies in Education – Speaking of maps, Meg Stewart runs an interesting blog on the use of GIS and other geospatial tech in higher education. Her co-authored EDUCAUSE Quarterly paper, “The Educational Potential of Mobile Computing in the Field,” caught my eye earlier this year, and I’ve been reading her blog ever since. I particularly appreciate the education angle in her posts.
  • Presentation Zen – Although I may disagree with him on the potential for digital engagement tools in the classroom, I’m still a huge Garr Reynolds fan. His book, Presentation Zen, radically transformed how I approach presentations, particularly in the use of visuals. He blogs about effective presentations, taking a big-tent approach to sources of inspiration.
  • Tufte Kitten Kill Count – This brand new blog by John Graham-Cunning is based on a joke by Mark Goetz that “every time you make a PowerPoint, Edward Tufte kills a kitten.” Tufte, author of The Visual Display of Quantitative Information and other books, is an information designer with a public antipathy toward PowerPoint. Graham-Cunning’s blog features reader-submitted examples of poor PowerPoint design with each rated on a scale of 1 to 5 dead kittens. Funny and educational at the same time.
  • Sketchnote Army – Created and curated by Mike Rodhe and Binaebi Akah, respectively, this blog features “sketchnotes,” visual notes taken by people at conference and educational experiences all over the world. Most people take notes by writing down words in a linear fashion. Others take advantage of the fact that we’re all visual learners and use words and pictures.
  • Alphachimp Studio – Right here in Nashville, we’re fortunate to have some of the best visual notetakers in the world. Alphachimp Studio is a “visual learning company” whose consultants provide graphic facilitation, “doodles in motion,” visual innovation training, and event planning services. We recently employed them to take visual notes at our 25th anniversary symposium, and their notes were a huge hit among participants. The Alphachimp blog features examples of their work, graphic facilitation resources from around the Web, and information about their hit online training classes.

What about you? What are your favorite visual thinking blogs?

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