I came across this video a few days ago and had a chance to watch it in it’s entirety this weekend. Bret Victor demonstrates a very intriguing software tool for drawing dynamic visualizations – creating data-driven visualizations, like D3, but via direct manipulation of the picture itself, like Illustrator.
Recorded at the Stanford HCI seminar on February 1, 2013.
Throughout the history of science, diagrams and graphs have been essential thinking tools. In the past, such visualizations were drawn with pen on paper, and could embrace the directness, freedom, and expressiveness of hand drawing. Most modern visualizations are programmed instead, where a single description can dynamically generate a unique picture for any dataset.
Today’s tools offer the benefits of one or the other — either directness or dynamics — but not both. Photoshop and Illustrator allow direct-manipulation drawing of static pictures. D3, R, and Processing allow indirect-manipulation coding of dynamic pictures.
This talk presents a tool for drawing dynamic pictures — creating data-driven visualizations, like D3, but via direct manipulation of the picture itself, like Illustrator.
Also, be sure to check out Bret’s website, WorryDream.com, for more interesting, thought-provoking ideas and visualizations from Bret.