Data Visualization vs. Statistical Graphics

I have this great talk on the above topic but nowhere to give it.

Here’s the story. Several months ago, I was invited to speak at IEEE VisWeek. It sounded like a great opportunity. The organizer told me that there were typically about 700 people in the audience, and these are people in the visualization community whom I’d like to reach but normally wouldn’t have the opportunity to encounter. It sounded great, but I didn’t want to fly most of the way across the country by myself, so I offered to give the talk by videolink.

I was surprised to get a No response: I’d think that a visualization conference, of all things, would welcome a video talk.

In the meantime, though, I’d thought a lot about what I’d talk about and had started preparing something. Once I found out I wouldn’t be giving the talk, I channeled the efforts into an article which, with the collaboration of Antony Unwin, was completed about a month ago.

It would take very little effort to adapt this graph-laden article into a powerpoint presentation. But now I have nowhere to give it, which is too bad as I’d welcome the feedback. So if anyone is interested in hearing this talk, just let me know. (No planes, though.)

22 thoughts on “Data Visualization vs. Statistical Graphics

  1. Why not try to set up a video talk over your blog? Record it with the powerpoint presentation and stick it up here. I for one would love to see it!

  2. Dear Prof. Gelman,
    I always follow this weblog.
    I am very interested in your works and also in this presentation. I don't know if you accept or not. If you are willing I will talk with Iranian Statistical Association to find a suitable time for inviting you to Iran and some Iranian Universities including Shahid Beheshti Uni. to give your presentation here or to to have video conference for us.
    Let me know if you are willing to.
    Farhad Shokoohi

  3. As a participant at VisWeek, I think the reason you got no response is that a big part of being a Keynote or Capstone speaker at a computer science conference (most visualization people are from computer science) is interacting and discussing with the audience *after* the talk.

    The Keynote speaker this year was great, but I would probably have gotten much more out of hearing you speak. Too bad!

    If you do end up giving the talk, please consider making the slides (and video?) freely available. Thanks!

  4. Andrew, I'm interested in this topic and I would be happy to help out. My company has a gotowebinar subscription. I could schedule and set up a webinar for you for up to 500 participants.

    We can also make a recording of the webinar and post it somewhere. We could host it, we could put it on YouTube or similar, or you could host it.

  5. Sfingram:

    Yes, they told me that the reason they didn't want a videolink was because they wanted direct interaction. Still, I could've done some of that interaction with video also, no?

    Manoel, Farhad:

    Thanks for asking. But these boat rides are too long for me too!


    In theory, central Canada is reachable by train. But that's only a theory, I'm afraid.


    The Playroom is for others to talk and me to listen!


    I've never actually done a webinar. Maybe after I've given the talk live a couple of times, I could do this. I definitely need some sort of audience: there's no way I could just stare in front of a camera and give a presentation with a straight face.

  6. What about having Google inviting you in their New York Office. They do videolink for the rest of the company and eventually put the thing on Youtube (no 15 minutes restriction). Do you know anybody at Google NY ? By the way, yes, Google is also in the Viz business (


  7. Dear Professor,
    I'm very interested on it. May be you can use skype or some other video conferencing to do it. Distribute the powerpoint as a pdf in your blog, set the time for the presentation, and guide us through the presentation with your talk. It's simple and it works !

  8. Must be the NewYork-Montreal train thats only in theory – once in Montreal the trains between Quebec City and London Ontario are regular and pleasant (and in many, many ways preferable to planes).


  9. Seconding K? comment: Central Canada refers to Ontario-Quebec (both with borders with NY state). There is a 12 hr train NYC to Toronto, I bet it is shorter to Montreal.
    In any case I may ask if there is an interest in our Stats Consulting Service team here at YorkU. We have had some outside speakers come give talks in the past.

  10. How about a second presentation to the NY R Stat Programming Meetup? No travel involved. The talk would be videotaped and uploaded allowing access for all.

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