Introduction to d3.js by Gizat Makhanov – 9th July 2019

We really enjoyed hearing about the potentials of d3.js and seeing some of the visuals it can create. If you would like the slides Gizat has been kind enough to share them with the group, please email the organisers for a copy.

Gizat was also able to give us an insight into a project he is working on, making a visualisation of the London Marathon data (, using these for inspiration & Hopefully he will be back to share the finished visual with the group!


Other useful links:

d3 galleries:


Data Visualisation Techniques in R – April 30th

Osama Mahmoud gave us a talk on the basics of data visualisation in R. He covered base graphics and ggplot2 in a really simple and helpful way, particularly for those who are less familiar with R. His slides are here: Data visualisation techniques using R


We were particularly impressed with the BristolVis R package he has designed, which provides interactive practicals to introduce data visualisation in R and an interactive webtool.


Osama Mahmoud can be contacted by email and was happy to help any of the group with data visualisation inR, for contact details see his website

Upcoming Meetings April – July 2019

“Data visualisation techniques using R” by Osama Mahmoud (UoB)

April 30th at 12:30 – 13:30 Room 4.10, Graduate School of Education, 35 Berkeley Square

To get an idea of numbers please can you sign up via Eventbrite


CANCELLED – will be rescheduled later in 2019 “A Walk through the Python Visualization Forest” by Margriet Groenendijk

May 22nd at 13:30 – 14:30 Post Graduate Hub training room 1, Senate House (note different time and location!!!)

Margriet is a Data Scientist and Developer Advocate from IBM Watson

There are many different Python libraries available for data visualization. These all have different philosophies, syntax and ways to create charts. In this session we will go for a walk in the forest to explore them all and learn about their differences and similarities. We will find out what plots and maps work best for different types of data. The walk will be documented in a Jupyter notebook so later you can go back into the forest on your own.

This will be promoted as part of JGI Data-Week – please register via Eventbrite 


Design Principles of Data Visualisation by Oliver Davis (Data Vis Group organiser) + flash presentations

June 21st at 12:30 – 13:30 Room 4.10, School of Education, 35 Berkeley Square 


Introduction to D3.js by Gizat Makhanov (UoB)

July 9th at 12:30 – 13:30 Room 4.10, School of Education, 35 Berkeley Square

Meeting 25th February 2019

Visual Vocabulary Discussion Session

This was a presentation and discussion session, covering visual vocabulary (deciding what graphics to use with your data), applications to big data, graphics tools and infographics, with lots of examples. Harriet and Polly ran the session with lots of interaction from the audience (Thank you!). We have attached the slides which were presented here: VisualVocab_Feb25th-20ktc47

There was additional discussion on actually designing your visualisation. Andy Kirk’s webinar – Mastering the Art of Data Visualisation Design – was recommended, as were the books, courses and resources from Edward Tufte. We will look into getting a seminar on the subject if we can find a suitable speaker – recommendations please!

We also discussed infographics and I was particularly interested to hear that some journals do encourage this sort of graphic – indeed, the BMJ actually has a member of staff to design infographics and data visualisations, Will Stahl-Timmons, and we found a good example of his work in a blog post.

The following sites were also recommended – leaning towards the data journalism side with some neat examples:  “explains ideas debated in culture with visual essays. By wielding original datasets, primary research, and interactivity, we try to thoroughly explore complex topics.” “We help brands turn data into interactive stories and analytics tools”


Thanks to all who came to the session and I hope that it was of interest to you. As always, we would love your feedback and please do let us know if you have ideas for sessions you would like to see run ( We really want these sessions to be useful for the group and can only do that with your input too!

Upcoming Meetings Feb – April 2019

Our next meeting will be February 25th at 12:30 – 13:30 in Room 4.10, 35 Berkeley Square (Graduate School of Education) and will be on Visual Vocabulary.

For our March meeting we are promoting the JGI talk on Wednesday 20th March 13:00-14:00 – “Automating Data Visualisation” by Nick Holliman, Professor of Visualization, Newcastle University & Fellow of the Alan Turing Institute. The event is free but you must register for a ticket on Eventbrite.

On April 30th at 12:30 – 13:30 in Room 4.10, 35 Berkeley Square (Graduate School of Education) we will have a talk from James Staley on data visualisation techniques using R.