The Community for Technology Leaders
RSS Icon
Issue No.06 - November/December (2010 vol.16)
pp: 1139-1148
Edward Segel , Stanford University
Jeffrey Heer , Stanford University
Data visualization is regularly promoted for its ability to reveal stories within data, yet these “data stories” differ in important ways from traditional forms of storytelling. Storytellers, especially online journalists, have increasingly been integrating visualizations into their narratives, in some cases allowing the visualization to function in place of a written story. In this paper, we systematically review the design space of this emerging class of visualizations. Drawing on case studies from news media to visualization research, we identify distinct genres of narrative visualization. We characterize these design differences, together with interactivity and messaging, in terms of the balance between the narrative flow intended by the author (imposed by graphical elements and the interface) and story discovery on the part of the reader (often through interactive exploration). Our framework suggests design strategies for narrative visualization, including promising under-explored approaches to journalistic storytelling and educational media.
Narrative visualization, storytelling, design methods, case study, journalism, social data analysis
Edward Segel, Jeffrey Heer, "Narrative Visualization: Telling Stories with Data", IEEE Transactions on Visualization & Computer Graphics, vol.16, no. 6, pp. 1139-1148, November/December 2010, doi:10.1109/TVCG.2010.179
[1] H. Beyer, K. Holtzblatt, Contextual Design: Defining Customer-Centered Systems. Morgan Kaufmann, 1998.
[2] W. E. Blundell, The Art & Craft of Feature Writing. Plume, 1988.
[3] D. Bordwell, K. Thompson, Film Art: An Introduction. McGraw-Hill, 2003.
[4] S. Buttry, The Elements and Structure of Narrative. http: // writesbnar.asp, 2010.
[5] J. Campbell, The Hero with a Thousand Faces. New World Library, 1949.
[6] K. Cukier, Show Me: New ways of visualising data., 2010.
[7] L. Danzico, Telling stories using data: An interview with Jonathan Harris. http://bit. lyjh-int, 2008.
[8] R. Eccles, T. Kapler, R. Harper, W. Wright, Stories in geotime. In IEEE VAST, pages 19–26, 2007.
[9] P. Farhi, CNN hits the wall for the election. http://bit.lycnn-wall, 2008.
[10] Gapminder. http : /, 2010.
[11] M. R. Garcia, P. Stark, Eyes on the News. The Poynter Institute, 1991.
[12] N. Gershon, W. Page, What storytelling can do for information visualization. Commun. ACM, 44 (8): 31–37, 2001.
[13] J. Heer, J. Mackinlay, C. Stolte, M. Agrawala, Graphical histories for visualization: Supporting analysis, communication, and evaluation. IEEE Trans. Vis. and Comp. Graphics, 14 (6): 1189–1196, 2008.
[14] J. Heer, G. G. Robertson, Animated transitions in statistical data graphics. IEEE Trans. Vis. and Comp. Graphics, 13 (6): 1240–1247, 2007.
[15] J. Heer, F. B. Viégas, M. Wattenberg, Voyager and voyeurs: Supporting asynchronous collaborative information visualization. In Proc. ACM CHI, pages 1029–1038, 2007.
[16] K. Holmqvist, J. Holsanova, M. Barthelson, D. Lundqvist, Reading or scanning? a study of newspaper and net paper reading. In J. R. Hyona, H. Deubel editors, , The Mind's Eye: Cognitive and Applied Aspects of Eye Movement Research, pages 657–670. Elsevier, 2003.
[17] L. Itti, C. Koch, Computational modeling of visual attention. Nature Reviews Neuroscience, 2 (3): 194–203, 2001.
[18] G. Kress, T. van Leeuwen, Reading Images: The Grammar of Visual Design. Routledge, 1996.
[19] S. McCloud, Understanding Comics. Kitchen Sink Press, 1993.
[20] S. McCloud, Making Comics. Harper, 2006.
[21] G. Polti, The thirty-six dramatic situations. The Editor Company, 1916.
[22] Tableau Public. http://tableausoftware.compublic, 2010.
[23] A. M. Treisman and G. Gelade, A feature-integration theory of attention. Cognitive Psychology, 12 (1): 97–136, 1980.
[24] B. Tversky, J. Heiser, S. Lozano, R. MacKenzie, and J. Morrison, Enriching animations. In R. Lowe, and W. Schnotz editors, Learning with animation. Cambridge University Press, 2007.
[25] F. B. Viégas, M. Wattenberg, F. van Ham, J. Kriss, and M. McKeon, Many Eyes: a site for visualization at internet scale. IEEE Trans. Vis. and Comp. Graphics, 13 (6): 1121–1128, 2007.
[26] C. Ware, Information visualization: perception for design. Morgan Kaufmann, San Francisco, CA, 2004.
[27] W. Wojtkowski and W. G. Wojtkowski, Storytelling: its role in information visualization. In European Systems Science Congress, 2002.
558 ms
(Ver 2.0)

Marketing Automation Platform Marketing Automation Tool