My Personal Data Visualization Library

There are many approaches to data visualization. Take well-know authors like Tufte, Cleveland, Ware, Few, Bertin or McCandless. There is some overlap, but they all approach data visualization from a different angle. That’s great news for you: this means that you can come up with a unique point of view that reflects your interests and needs.

I suppose the books you buy are consistent with that view. Let me give you my own example. I try to be pragmatic and business oriented. That’s why there aren’t many design books in my library. On the other hand, I own several Excel, dashboards and presentation books.

So,  after reading Enrico’s last post, The Data Visualization Beginner’s Toolkit I decided to follow Andy Kirk’s suggestion (“as many people as possibly should share what helped them”) and list my entire data visualization library.

Italicized titles are books I have access to, but I should buy them anyway.

Theory

Other Authors:

 Presentations

Perception

Design

Numbers & Decision Making

Excel & Dashboards

13 thoughts on “My Personal Data Visualization Library

  1. Lovely library! I am a bit jealous 😉 Beyond that … I think it’s going to be a great habit if we all coordinate and start sharing more resources like this. The whole community has so much to gain! Vis blogs are too much egocentric IMHO and there is too much chaos around. We are in the special position to help people take the right path. And certainly I cannot do this thing alone. Thanks for the great follow-up.

  2. Thanks for sharing and the the useful list. I’m not sure I understand how you classified books into theory and other authors.  Lee Wilkinson’s Grammar of Graphics is often named along with Bertin as discussing the theory of visualization. Ben Fry’s book is listed both places here.

  3. Thanks for sharing and the the useful list. I’m not sure I understand how you classified books into theory and other authors.  Lee Wilkinson’s Grammar of Graphics is often named along with Bertin as discussing the theory of visualization. Ben Fry’s book is listed both places here.

  4. Thanks Naomi for pointing that out. I’ll make a few changes to my late-night taxonomy. I want to keep Cleveland, Few, Tufte and Bertin grouped together, so I guess I’ll move Kosslyn and Bonin down, instead of moving Wilkinson up.

    How would you group them? Tufte/Few, Bertin/Wilkinson/Bonin, You/Cleveland/Tukey? It’s interesting. I’ll try that in the future.

  5. Merci de partager cette liste, ça va me donner plein d’idées d’achat et de livres à lire sur la plage 🙂
    Il y a 5 livres parmi cette liste que tu classerais comme des “must have” ?

    Thanks for sharing this list, it’ll give me plenty of ideas and books to read on the beach this summer.
    Is there 5 books among this list that you would classify as “must have” ?

  6. Would be curious to know which books you like the best and why. I see a wide range of quality. Would also be cool to see the authors name next to each link.
    Great to see this list. Thanks
    – Kyle
    http://dboptimizer.com
    PS like Gregoire said
    “Il y a 5 livres parmi cette liste que tu classerais comme des “must have” ?
    Is there 5 books among this list that you would classify as “must have” ? “

  7. An  interesting list. I am green with envy. 

    On my part, I have added a page to my blog  www.visualquest.in titled interesting reads where I have started listing  links to useful articles which have helped me and could possibly help others.

  8. Gregoire, it really depends (what you know, what you want…). If I really, really had to, I would select these, now:

    Bertin’s Semiology…
    Tufte’s the Quantitative Display…
    MacEachren’s How Maps Work
    Ware’s Information Visualization
    Cleveland’s Visualizing Data

    Language, design, communication, perception, data/statistics. We need them all. OK, I’ll write a post discussing this…

  9. Thank you very much for posting your list of references. I have read some of the books you mention and I think are a good basis on which to build ideas for the graphical representation of data. But I must say that Few’s book disappointed me greatly, because it uses the same composition as developed Tufte who barely acknowledges and contains no bibliography. Just what so many people are thanking you.

  10. Pere, in the second edition of “Show me the Numbers” Appendix was expanded and has a nice lice of references.

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