The Syntax of Visual Language
“Graphic representation constitutes one of the basic sign-systems conceived by the human mind for the purposes of storing, understanding, and communicating essential information. As a ‘language’ for the eye, graphics benefit from the ubiquitous properties of visual perception.”
— Jacques Bertin
BY BEA MARTIN
Functional visualisations are more than innovative statistical analysis and computational algorithms.
Despite today’s graphics diversity, many projects tend to follow noticeable trends and common principles, which lead to an emergent taxonomy. This Syntax, a palette of visual elements, that consider colour, text, imagery, size, shape, contrast, transparency, position, orientation, layout, to name a few, are the building blocks of a new visual language.
Martin Wattenberg: The Shape of Song
Eytan Adar: GUESS
Peter Uetz: Protein-protein interaction modeling
Richard Wolton: Earthquake 3D
Marian Bantjes: Community
Greg Judelman and Maria Lantin: Flower Garden
Maria Porpora: Density Design
Tyler Lang and Elsa Chaves: Connecting Distant Dots
Martin Krzywinski: Circos
Richard Rogers: Climate Change US
yWorks yFiles Visualization
Juan Pablo de Gregorio and Jose Neira: CMM Infographic
Segmented Radial Convergence
Boris Muller: Poetry on the Road
James Spahr: Website Traffic Map
Visual Complexity: Mapping Patterns of Information by Manuel Lima
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