A Review of Edward Tufte's The Visual Display of Quantitative Information: How to Create and Evaluate Data Graphics
Edward Tufte: The Visual Display of Quantitative Information PDF 20
If you are interested in data visualization, you have probably heard of Edward Tufte, one of the most influential experts in this field. His book, The Visual Display of Quantitative Information, is considered a classic and a must-read for anyone who wants to learn how to present data effectively. In this article, we will introduce you to Edward Tufte and his book, explain what it covers and why it is important, show you how to access it in PDF format, and give you some tips on how to use it for your own purposes.
edward tufte the visual display of quantitative information pdf 20
Who is Edward Tufte and why is he important?
Edward Tufte is an American statistician, professor emeritus at Yale University, and a pioneer in data visualization. He has written four books on this topic, which have sold more than 1.5 million copies. He has also designed several interactive exhibits, sculptures, and artworks that explore the visual representation of information. He has received many awards and honors for his contributions to the field, such as the IEEE John von Neumann Medal, the National Humanities Medal, and the Design Mind Award from Cooper Hewitt Smithsonian Design Museum.
Tufte is important because he has revolutionized the way we think about data graphics. He has challenged the conventional wisdom and practices of data presentation, and advocated for high standards of clarity, integrity, efficiency, and elegance. He has inspired generations of data analysts, designers, journalists, educators, scientists, artists, and others who work with data. He has also provided practical guidance and examples on how to create effective data graphics that communicate complex ideas clearly and persuasively.
What is The Visual Display of Quantitative Information and what does it cover?
The Visual Display of Quantitative Information is Tufte's first book on data visualization. It was first published in 1983 by Graphics Press LLC (Tufte's own publishing company), and has been revised twice since then (in 2001 and 2020). The book has 197 pages (in its latest edition) and contains 250 illustrations (mostly in black-and-white). It covers various aspects of data graphics, such as their history, principles, examples, design methods, and evaluation criteria.
Data graphics and their principles
Data graphics are visual displays of quantitative information, such as charts, graphs, maps, tables, diagrams, and so on. They are used to show patterns, trends, relationships, comparisons, and other features of data. They can also be used to tell stories, make arguments, and persuade audiences. Data graphics can be simple or complex, static or dynamic, abstract or realistic, depending on the purpose and context of their use.
Tufte defines four principles for the design of data graphics: clarity, integrity, efficiency, and elegance. Clarity means that the data graphics should be easy to understand and interpret, without ambiguity or confusion. Integrity means that the data graphics should be honest and accurate, without distortion or deception. Efficiency means that the data graphics should use the minimum amount of ink and space to convey the maximum amount of information. Elegance means that the data graphics should be aesthetically pleasing and harmonious, without clutter or redundancy.
Examples of good and bad data graphics
Tufte provides many examples of good and bad data graphics throughout his book. He analyzes them in terms of their design choices, such as the type of graphic, the scale of measurement, the use of color, the labeling of axes and legends, the inclusion of annotations and captions, and so on. He also evaluates them in terms of their effectiveness, such as how well they reveal the data, how well they answer the questions of interest, how well they avoid chartjunk (unnecessary or distracting elements), and how well they enhance the visual appeal.
Some of the examples of good data graphics that Tufte praises are: Charles Joseph Minard's map of Napoleon's march to Moscow in 1812 (which shows six variables in a single graphic), John Snow's map of cholera deaths in London in 1854 (which shows the spatial correlation between the disease and the water supply), William Playfair's line graphs of economic data in the 18th century (which introduced a new way of visualizing time-series data), and Galileo Galilei's drawings of sunspots in 1613 (which showed the rotation of the sun).
Some of the examples of bad data graphics that Tufte criticizes are: pie charts (which he considers inefficient and misleading), three-dimensional bar charts (which he considers distorted and confusing), stacked area charts (which he considers ambiguous and deceptive), and PowerPoint slides (which he considers oversimplified and boring).
How to design effective data graphics
Tufte offers several tools, techniques, and tips on how to design effective data graphics. Some of them are: use graphical excellence (the well-designed presentation of interesting data), use graphical integrity (the truthful representation of data), use data-ink ratio (the proportion of ink devoted to the actual data), use small multiples (a series of similar graphics showing different aspects of the same data), use sparklines (small word-sized graphs showing trends or variations), use micro/macro readings (a combination of detail and overview in a single graphic), use layering and separation (a way of organizing information into different levels of importance and visibility), use color (a way of highlighting or distinguishing different elements in a graphic), use narrative (a way of telling a story or making an argument with data graphics).
How to access The Visual Display of Quantitative Information PDF 20?
If you want to read The Visual Display of Quantitative Information, you have several options to access it in PDF format. You can buy the book online or offline, download the PDF for free or with a subscription, or read the book online or offline. Each option has its own advantages and disadvantages, depending on your preferences and needs.
Buy the book online or offline
You can buy the book online from various websites, such as Amazon.com, Barnes & Noble, or Tufte's own website. You can also buy the book offline from local bookstores or libraries. The price of the book varies depending on the seller and the edition, but it is usually around $40-$50. The advantage of buying the book is that you can own a physical copy that you can keep, lend, or resell. The disadvantage is that you have to pay for it and wait for it to be delivered or available.
Download the PDF for free or with a subscription
Read the book online or offline
You can read the book online from various websites that offer online reading platforms, such as Google Books, Open Library, or Project Gutenberg. You can also read the book offline from various apps that allow you to download and read ebooks, such as Adobe Acrobat Reader, iBooks, or Calibre. The advantage of reading the book online or offline is that you can access it from any device and adjust the settings to your liking. The disadvantage is that you may not have the best reading experience or quality.
How to use The Visual Display of Quantitative Information PDF 20?
Once you have accessed The Visual Display of Quantitative Information in PDF format, you may wonder how to use it for your own purposes. Depending on your goals and interests, you can use the book for different reasons and in different ways. Here are some suggestions on how to use the book for students and researchers, for professionals and practitioners, and for enthusiasts and hobbyists.
For students and researchers
If you are a student or a researcher who wants to learn more about data visualization, you can use the book as a textbook or a reference. You can read the book from cover to cover, or focus on specific chapters or sections that are relevant to your topic or project. You can also use the book as a source of examples and inspiration for your own data graphics. You can try to replicate some of the graphics in the book, or create your own graphics based on the principles and methods that Tufte teaches. You can also use the book as a source of citations and references for your academic papers or reports.
For professionals and practitioners
If you are a professional or a practitioner who works with data visualization, you can use the book as a guide or a handbook. You can consult the book whenever you need to create or evaluate data graphics for your work or clients. You can also use the book as a tool for improving your skills and knowledge in data visualization. You can review some of the concepts and techniques that Tufte explains, or learn some new ones that you may not be familiar with. You can also use the book as a resource for staying updated and informed about the latest trends and developments in data visualization.
For enthusiasts and hobbyists
If you are an enthusiast or a hobbyist who enjoys data visualization, you can use the book as a hobby or a passion. You can read the book for fun and pleasure, or for curiosity and learning. You can also use the book as a challenge or a game. You can try to find some of the errors or flaws that Tufte points out in some of the data graphics in the book, or try to improve some of them with your own ideas and suggestions. You can also use the book as a conversation starter or a gift. You can share some of the insights or stories that Tufte shares in his book with your friends or family, or give them a copy of the book if they are interested in data visualization.
In conclusion, The Visual Display of Quantitative Information is a remarkable book by Edward Tufte that covers many aspects of data visualization. It introduces you to Edward Tufte and his importance in this field, explains what his book covers and why it is important, shows you how to access it in PDF format, and gives you some tips on how to use it for your own purposes. Whether you are a student or a researcher, a professional or a practitioner, an enthusiast or a hobbyist, you can benefit from reading this book and applying its lessons to your own data graphics.
If you want to learn more about Edward Tufte and his other books on data visualization, you can visit his website at https://www.edwardtufte.com/tufte/. If you want to buy his books online, you can visit Amazon.com, Barnes & Noble, or Graphics Press LLC. If you want to download his books in PDF format for free or with a subscription, you can visit Archive.org, Z-Library, PDF Drive, Scribd, Kindle Unlimited, or Audible. If you want to read his books online or offline, you can visit Google Books, Open Library, Project Gutenberg, Adobe Acrobat Reader, iBooks, or Calibre.
Here are some frequently asked questions about Edward Tufte and his book:
Q: What is the difference between the 1983, 2001, and 2020 editions of the book?
A: The main difference is the quality of the printing and the illustrations. The 1983 edition was printed on an offset press, which resulted in some loss of detail and contrast. The 2001 edition was printed on a digital press, which improved the clarity and sharpness of the images. The 2020 edition was printed on a high-resolution press, which enhanced the color and brightness of the images. The content of the book remained largely unchanged, except for some minor corrections and updates.
Q: What are some of the other books that Tufte has written on data visualization?
A: Tufte has written three other books on data visualization: Envisioning Information (1990), which focuses on how to display information of diverse origins and content; Visual Explanations (1997), which focuses on how to display information for comparison, causality, and evidence; and Beautiful Evidence (2006), which focuses on how to display information for credibility, relevance, and aesthetics.
Q: What are some of the criticisms or controversies that Tufte has faced or generated in his field?
A: Tufte has faced or generated some criticisms or controversies in his field, such as: his dismissal of pie charts and PowerPoint slides as ineffective data graphics; his involvement in the investigation of the Challenger space shuttle disaster and his claim that poor data graphics contributed to it; his critique of the design of the iPhone and his suggestion that it should have more buttons; and his criticism of some of the data graphics used in the COVID-19 pandemic and his proposal for alternative ones.
Q: What are some of the influences or inspirations that Tufte has acknowledged or cited in his work?
A: Tufte has acknowledged or cited many influences or inspirations in his work, such as: Leonardo da Vinci, Galileo Galilei, Isaac Newton, and Charles Darwin as examples of scientists who used data graphics to communicate their discoveries; William Playfair, Charles Joseph Minard, John Snow, and Florence Nightingale as examples of pioneers in data visualization; Jacques Bertin, John Tukey, William Cleveland, and Leland Wilkinson as examples of researchers who developed theories and methods for data visualization; and Richard Feynman, Ludwig Wittgenstein, Marcel Duchamp, and Mark Rothko as examples of thinkers and artists who influenced his style and philosophy.
Q: What are some of the current or future trends or developments that Tufte has predicted or suggested for data visualization?
A: Tufte has predicted or suggested some current or future trends or developments for data visualization, such as: the use of interactive and dynamic data graphics that allow users to explore and manipulate data; the use of multidimensional and multivariate data graphics that show complex and rich data; the use of artistic and expressive data graphics that convey emotions and aesthetics; the use of ethical and responsible data graphics that respect the data and the audience; and the use of universal and accessible data graphics that reach diverse and global audiences.