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The Truthful Art is an introduction to quantitative thinking and statistical and cartographical representation written specifically for journalists and designers. A follow-up to The Functional Art, it goes into the specifics of how to create functional charts, maps, and graphs. Part 1 in The Truthful Art provides a broad introduction to statistics, written with journalists The Truthful Art is an introduction to quantitative thinking and statistical and cartographical representation written specifically for journalists and designers. A follow-up to The Functional Art, it goes into the specifics of how to create functional charts, maps, and graphs. Part 1 in The Truthful Art provides a broad introduction to statistics, written with journalists and designers in mind. Cairo avoids using jargon and formulas, focusing instead on how to manage and interpret data sets, and how to extract stories from them. In Part 2, Cairo gets down to business giving specific advice on how to use charts and maps in infographics and visualization. Readers will learn what kind of statistical charts exist and how to use them correctly; what maps are with an introduction to cartography terms and techniques; the basics of maps including how to create locator maps and how to understand basic cartographical terms such as projection, scale, symbolization, etc.; and the main kinds of thematic maps (choropleth, isopleth, proportional symbol, etc.) and how to use them. In Part 3, Cairo leaves the classroom and enters the real world with an in-depth look at how information graphics and visualization teams are organized at publications around the world including The New York Times, La Naci�n (Costa Rica), Estado de S�o Paulo (Brazil), and more. He also explains how to develop a successful style book for graphics using sample pages from several real style books for examples. Part 4, the last section of the book, features interviews with six to 10 leading designers of charts and maps including Jer Thorp, Amanda Cox, Ben Fry, and more.


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The Truthful Art is an introduction to quantitative thinking and statistical and cartographical representation written specifically for journalists and designers. A follow-up to The Functional Art, it goes into the specifics of how to create functional charts, maps, and graphs. Part 1 in The Truthful Art provides a broad introduction to statistics, written with journalists The Truthful Art is an introduction to quantitative thinking and statistical and cartographical representation written specifically for journalists and designers. A follow-up to The Functional Art, it goes into the specifics of how to create functional charts, maps, and graphs. Part 1 in The Truthful Art provides a broad introduction to statistics, written with journalists and designers in mind. Cairo avoids using jargon and formulas, focusing instead on how to manage and interpret data sets, and how to extract stories from them. In Part 2, Cairo gets down to business giving specific advice on how to use charts and maps in infographics and visualization. Readers will learn what kind of statistical charts exist and how to use them correctly; what maps are with an introduction to cartography terms and techniques; the basics of maps including how to create locator maps and how to understand basic cartographical terms such as projection, scale, symbolization, etc.; and the main kinds of thematic maps (choropleth, isopleth, proportional symbol, etc.) and how to use them. In Part 3, Cairo leaves the classroom and enters the real world with an in-depth look at how information graphics and visualization teams are organized at publications around the world including The New York Times, La Naci�n (Costa Rica), Estado de S�o Paulo (Brazil), and more. He also explains how to develop a successful style book for graphics using sample pages from several real style books for examples. Part 4, the last section of the book, features interviews with six to 10 leading designers of charts and maps including Jer Thorp, Amanda Cox, Ben Fry, and more.

30 review for The Truthful Art: Data, Charts, and Maps for Communication

  1. 5 out of 5

    Andrew

    This may be coming in low for me because I already have some background in the area, and had high expectations. I wasn't expecting material on stats or manipulation of data, or scientific method, but a good chunk of time is spent on it. What I hoped to learn was a more systematic way of thinking about visualization and going deeper there. This book basically gives you an intro to everything you need to go from zero to visualizing data (conceptually and mathematically, not technically). I like th This may be coming in low for me because I already have some background in the area, and had high expectations. I wasn't expecting material on stats or manipulation of data, or scientific method, but a good chunk of time is spent on it. What I hoped to learn was a more systematic way of thinking about visualization and going deeper there. This book basically gives you an intro to everything you need to go from zero to visualizing data (conceptually and mathematically, not technically). I like the message of the book (let the data tell the story, not your narrative) and it does provide some of what I was looking for. (The hierarchy of visualization and some other general principles it outlined were all good) however I felt most of the content was intro stuff. I could also have completely missed the point, or come from such a different place I wasn't prepared to absorb the value.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Jeff Walker

    A very solid introduction to data visualization along with some basic statistics. Primarily aimed at journalists and those with less of a quantitative background (I'm a scientist/engineer). Not much by way of the technical details on how to construct visualizations, but that wasn't the goal of this book. Lot's of great examples from other folks in the field, and plenty of excellent references to check out. Overall a pleasure to read. A very solid introduction to data visualization along with some basic statistics. Primarily aimed at journalists and those with less of a quantitative background (I'm a scientist/engineer). Not much by way of the technical details on how to construct visualizations, but that wasn't the goal of this book. Lot's of great examples from other folks in the field, and plenty of excellent references to check out. Overall a pleasure to read.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Ali Sattari

    This is basically about skepticism, scientific method, basic statistics, how not to lie with statistics and then finally visualization. I have to admit I skipped most parts of details of advance visualizations.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Aaron Lee

    Clear and packed with content. I enjoyed this one more than the first book, Functional Art, although it’s probably because this is more geared towards data viz and not illustrated infographics . Definitely recommend this for anyone who is starting or already doing data visualization, as it covers a number of important practical considerations and helpful tips without being dogmatic (subtweet Tufte). It’s probably also a helpful book for anyone who just wants to avoid being misled by charts they Clear and packed with content. I enjoyed this one more than the first book, Functional Art, although it’s probably because this is more geared towards data viz and not illustrated infographics . Definitely recommend this for anyone who is starting or already doing data visualization, as it covers a number of important practical considerations and helpful tips without being dogmatic (subtweet Tufte). It’s probably also a helpful book for anyone who just wants to avoid being misled by charts they see.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Dimitrios Mistriotis

    Although I wanted to absorb as much content as possible, Cairo's book is also a page turner for reasons I cannot explain. So I rushed through it and now will go for the second pass. I was it helped me further understand some statistics concepts that were a bit vague to me which is one of the reasons I purchased it. Second pass now :-). Update: Did another re-read of it following the "better to read a good book many times than many bad ones" got also references on where to go next. Thanks Alberto! Although I wanted to absorb as much content as possible, Cairo's book is also a page turner for reasons I cannot explain. So I rushed through it and now will go for the second pass. I was it helped me further understand some statistics concepts that were a bit vague to me which is one of the reasons I purchased it. Second pass now :-). Update: Did another re-read of it following the "better to read a good book many times than many bad ones" got also references on where to go next. Thanks Alberto!

  6. 4 out of 5

    Andres Moreira

    Everyone must read this book on today society, because we are empowered as human beans if we are more educated. If you need a crash course into visualization and basic statistics, then go with this one. Alberto is a great storyteller and a clear and sharp mind. This is not just a book about visualization, it's a book about how to do better with data, how to present stories and a how journalism is at everybody's hands if they believe on the power of the story, the data and the people. Everyone must read this book on today society, because we are empowered as human beans if we are more educated. If you need a crash course into visualization and basic statistics, then go with this one. Alberto is a great storyteller and a clear and sharp mind. This is not just a book about visualization, it's a book about how to do better with data, how to present stories and a how journalism is at everybody's hands if they believe on the power of the story, the data and the people.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Tiago

    I really liked the book and the way it was written, which made it a very enjoyable read. Alberto Cairo's writing is one of the strengths of the book. The "The Truthful Art: Data, Charts, and Maps for Communication" goes through the different stages of data visualization. From the data collection, to the  the visuals themselves focusing on guidelines and science principles that produces a good and truthful visualization. Also, concepts like p-values, confidence intervals and hypothesis testing are I really liked the book and the way it was written, which made it a very enjoyable read. Alberto Cairo's writing is one of the strengths of the book. The "The Truthful Art: Data, Charts, and Maps for Communication" goes through the different stages of data visualization. From the data collection, to the  the visuals themselves focusing on guidelines and science principles that produces a good and truthful visualization. Also, concepts like p-values, confidence intervals and hypothesis testing are explained in a very clear way and without loaded maths or notation. That was a pleasant surprise for me. The book has some valuable  valuable advice on how to proceed with exploratory data analysis and the ethics of data visualization. I'll cite a very nice quote from the book: "If getting your information right is the most important step in creating any visualization, the second one is helping the audience interpret it correctly" There are a lot of lessons to be learned and I'll cite three: 1) Look at the data from even more angles than you are doing now. 2) Always pay attention if the patternicity, storytelling and confirmation bugs are lurking around. 3) Talk to domain experts about the data to make sense of what the data is telling us before rushing to conclusions. And, of course, there are a lot of cool visuals and lots of references and links to go deeper into the topics. I would definitely recommend it.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Michael Scott

    TODO full review: +++ Overall, I love this book. It's a thoughtful explanation of both the craft of information visualization (which graph depicts it best? how? why?) and an insightful warning on the ethics of information visualization (should I drop the "wrong" values? how should I emphasize my story while not playing with the minds of the readers unrespectfully? how to spot the damn liars from all these statisticians/data scientists?) +++ Does not sound preachy on ethics, and at times the tone i TODO full review: +++ Overall, I love this book. It's a thoughtful explanation of both the craft of information visualization (which graph depicts it best? how? why?) and an insightful warning on the ethics of information visualization (should I drop the "wrong" values? how should I emphasize my story while not playing with the minds of the readers unrespectfully? how to spot the damn liars from all these statisticians/data scientists?) +++ Does not sound preachy on ethics, and at times the tone is overtly pragmatic. This is how the discussion should take place. +++ The examples from technology, which among the examples in this book I can understand best, are spot on. +++ An exceptional array of relevant and modern graphing techniques. +++ All the good links and references. Check them out!

  9. 4 out of 5

    Annie

    I give this book 3.5 stars. There are several failings with this book that kept it from getting a higher rating. The book is not focused on charts and visualizations; there are sections covering statistics. If you don't know the subject already, touching on the basics isn't that useful. Another problem is that the author uses some examples from his own experience working in another country. The trouble is some of the examples are in a foreign language. While the charts are understandable with ex I give this book 3.5 stars. There are several failings with this book that kept it from getting a higher rating. The book is not focused on charts and visualizations; there are sections covering statistics. If you don't know the subject already, touching on the basics isn't that useful. Another problem is that the author uses some examples from his own experience working in another country. The trouble is some of the examples are in a foreign language. While the charts are understandable with explanations in the text, the author should have selected examples where the audience would understand the context immediately.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Risto Hinno

    Visualizing data in a way that it would be correct, beautiful and exiting is difficult. This book is a great introduction to this topic. For beginners there is clear introduction to statistics (simple and graphical). For more advanced readers there are many examples that give inspiration. One of the main ideas I got from this book is that good visualization doesn't always have to be simple, it shouldn't give impression of confidence or clarity when it is lacking in data. Nice read for anybody wh Visualizing data in a way that it would be correct, beautiful and exiting is difficult. This book is a great introduction to this topic. For beginners there is clear introduction to statistics (simple and graphical). For more advanced readers there are many examples that give inspiration. One of the main ideas I got from this book is that good visualization doesn't always have to be simple, it shouldn't give impression of confidence or clarity when it is lacking in data. Nice read for anybody who is dealing with graphics.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Louis

    I think this is what I have been looking for without knowing it. The math of how stats work and the concepts added in with the ability to visualize or see what the data looks like is incredibly helpful. also its fun to read. loved the recommendations and links to other websites/portfolios. keeps for more reading. WIll also look for the next book with is described as more of the actual design side of making things presentable. whereas this was more on the present good information side of things.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Marcello Sequeira

    The author has made a multi disciplinary topic rather accessible. He combines a conversational style of writing, with academic style references throughout the text. He does tend to drone on a bit, waxing philosophically, even after the point was made several pages ago. The book length would have been half the size if not for this (& to my mind, an even easier read!) The number of references provided for those interested in delving deeper is impressive. A good first book on data visualisation to un The author has made a multi disciplinary topic rather accessible. He combines a conversational style of writing, with academic style references throughout the text. He does tend to drone on a bit, waxing philosophically, even after the point was made several pages ago. The book length would have been half the size if not for this (& to my mind, an even easier read!) The number of references provided for those interested in delving deeper is impressive. A good first book on data visualisation to understand the concepts, but probably not one you would refer to time and time again.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Yaru Lin

    "The purpose infographics and data visualization is to enlighten people - not to entertain them, not to sell them products, services, or ideas, but to inform them." From the ethics of journalism, to statistical fallacies and data communication best practices, these (beautiful glossy) pages are full of ideas that I want to flip through over and over again. The next challenge is finding a purse big enough. "The purpose infographics and data visualization is to enlighten people - not to entertain them, not to sell them products, services, or ideas, but to inform them." From the ethics of journalism, to statistical fallacies and data communication best practices, these (beautiful glossy) pages are full of ideas that I want to flip through over and over again. The next challenge is finding a purse big enough.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Mel Nguyen

    Great book on data visualization - Alberto stressed the importance of presenting data with the truth in mind and to never stray from that path. He also gave lots of advice on how to best present certain types of data and included examples on visually stunning and insightful work from other authors. This book is a checklist data analysts, journalists and designers should always keep in mind before diving into anything. Lastly, ask questions. Always question what you see.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Rasmus Dahl

    The textbook I would have liked in my curriculum at my university. The emphasis is on how to present data rather than on the statistical methods. Having a degree with through understanding of all the mathematical definitions for all the statistical methods doesn’t serve you well if you are not able to communicate your findings or insights in a clear understandable manner. This is the pitfall that this book cover. Well worth the read.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Anneli Kruve-Viil

    Though the book claims to be about data visualization it does a poor job in explaining WHY some graph work and some not, and HOW to prepare a good graph. Page after page is wasted on explaining math on high school level. The part on graphs is more of a graph album then a book to look explanation from.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Leni Krsová

    One of the BEST books about data and its visualisation. Full of valuable resources, good tips and advices on how to deal with everything involving data. Simply great! P.S.: Take your time with this one, there is a LOT of information you will need to process. But it's totally worth the while. One of the BEST books about data and its visualisation. Full of valuable resources, good tips and advices on how to deal with everything involving data. Simply great! P.S.: Take your time with this one, there is a LOT of information you will need to process. But it's totally worth the while.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Matt

    Great book that is thorough, organized well, and well referenced. I would have given it 5 stars but the example images were too hard to read at the sizes included. I wish they would have been bigger to be able to use more easily alongside the text referencing them.

  19. 4 out of 5

    coolwind

    Have in-depth explanation of why and how make visual present the truth. Good to read together with the author’s functional art.

  20. 5 out of 5

    hannah

    Makes me anticipate the 3rd installment in the trilogy: The insightful art

  21. 5 out of 5

    Nicolas

    It is interesting to read about how a journalist thinks about creating compelling visuals.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Iurii Okhmat

    Nice!

  23. 5 out of 5

    Carlo Capasso

    Basic Visualization with some statistics. Great job.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Hamish Seamus

    Very likeable authorial voice. But the content is no good for someone who's already scientifically literate. It's full of shallow exposition on tangential topics. Very likeable authorial voice. But the content is no good for someone who's already scientifically literate. It's full of shallow exposition on tangential topics.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Brad Stieber

    This is at the top of my list for an introductory look at data analysis and visualization. The chapter on exploratory analysis is especially good.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Sudipta Paul

    Must read for data journalist.Cookbook for beautiful data visualisation process and communicate an important message to the reader.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Art

    "Precision journalism for the new century," writes Alberto Cairo, who describes himself as a journalist, primarily. Half of this book deals with good visuals, while the other half covers what happens before the design, which covers data exploration, which leads to data visualization. This book blends principles of science, journalism, graphic design, cartography and statistics. Cairo laments a recent trend in marketing, advertising and public relations that hijacked the term "infographics." Alth "Precision journalism for the new century," writes Alberto Cairo, who describes himself as a journalist, primarily. Half of this book deals with good visuals, while the other half covers what happens before the design, which covers data exploration, which leads to data visualization. This book blends principles of science, journalism, graphic design, cartography and statistics. Cairo laments a recent trend in marketing, advertising and public relations that hijacked the term "infographics." Although it comes out of journalism, the term now means simple little posters that serve as clickbait, he writes. Graphic desks in newsrooms now call themselves "visuals" or "news applications." NPR Visuals, for example. The New York Times visualizations strike a balance between deep, engaging and readable. The final chapter pays tribute to the people popularizing, improving and expanding modern graphics. This is a fine four-star book that lost a star because of the heavy-duty sections on statistics. The Truthful Art pairs with Cairo's previous book, The Functional Art: An Introduction to Information Graphics and Visualization, a five-star book. Put these two together for a nine-star set. Cairo serves as part of the brain trust for The Best American Infographics 2016, an annual series that began in 2012, and that's where he came on my radar.

  28. 4 out of 5

    SocProf

    I was already of the big fan of The Functional Art, Alberto Cairo's previous book, and this one is just as good, i.e., excellent. On top of it, it's a gorgeous book, with a ton of examples illustrating all the principles of data visualization Cairo explains, all in glorious colors, demonstrating the power of data visualization. Cairo weaves in some very mild statistical content in there (mostly descriptive stuff). But overall, the book is mostly about using visualization appropriate for the data I was already of the big fan of The Functional Art, Alberto Cairo's previous book, and this one is just as good, i.e., excellent. On top of it, it's a gorgeous book, with a ton of examples illustrating all the principles of data visualization Cairo explains, all in glorious colors, demonstrating the power of data visualization. Cairo weaves in some very mild statistical content in there (mostly descriptive stuff). But overall, the book is mostly about using visualization appropriate for the data, what one wants to communicate, in the most effective way. On top of it, Cairo's writing style is crystal clear, friendly, and humble, which makes this book appropriate for any audience. This book will be my main text for the dataviz section of my undergraduate curriculum on data science. Highly recommended. Can't wait for the next one.

  29. 4 out of 5

    A

    Really good an entertaining, although I'd say it's more about data exploration and communication than visualization. I honestly believe the ones who would benefit the most from this book are engineering students and scientists in general. Really good an entertaining, although I'd say it's more about data exploration and communication than visualization. I honestly believe the ones who would benefit the most from this book are engineering students and scientists in general.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Adrian

    Great book - I actually needed the approach for my business, but highly recommended to anyone trying to understand that infographics is all about and how they can help you communicate.

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