View the Project on GitHub clarkdatalabs/techandtexts

Tech and Texts is an open seminar/workshop hosted by the University of Michigan Library to explore the technology and theory behind data visualization. Over the course of the Fall 2016 semester we will meet every other Thursday from 1:30pm-3:00pm to discuss, explore and experiment with various data visualization technologies and theoretical texts. Most Text meetings (Oct 20, Nov 17 and Dec15) will be held in the Digital Projects Studio (3169 Shapiro) and The first meeting and Tech meetings (Sept 29, Oct 6, Nov 3 and Dec 1) will be held in the Clark Library Presentation Space (2 South Hatcher).

Meetings are open to anyone at any skill level. It is not necessary to attend all meetings; please join us as you have time and interest. The text discussions will include a brief introduction to the reading. Tech explorations will be an open format for experimentation and shared learning (please bring a laptop). If you have any questions about the series you can contact Justin Joque ( or Alix Keener (

PDFs of all of the readings are available. Please register by filling out this this form and we will add you to the CTools site for access.

Fall_2016 Schedule

September 29: History of Data Visualization - Clark Library Presentation Space Note Change of Date and Location

Beniger, James R., and Dorothy L. Robyn. "Quantitative graphics in statistics: A brief history." The American Statistician 32, no. 1 (1978): 1-11.

Friendly, Michael. "A brief history of data visualization." In Handbook of data visualization, pp. 15-56. Springer Berlin Heidelberg, 2008.

Additional Resources: Charles Joseph Minard, Des tableaux graphiques et des cartes figuratives (Paris, 1862), translated by Dawn Finley, August 2003

October 6: R (Statistical Graphics)

October 20: Attempts at a Semiology of Graphics

Selections from:

Wilkinson, Leland. The Grammar of Graphics. Springer Science & Business Media, 2006.

Bertin, Jacques. Semiology of Graphics: Diagrams, Networks, Maps. (1983).

N.B. PDFs are available in the Ctools site (please register for access)

November 3: D3 (Interactive Visualizations)

Some Resources:

let's make a barchart

general update pattern

November 17: Visualizing Data, Theory and the Humanities

Anderson, Chris. "The end of theory: the data deluge makes the scientific method obsolete. Wired Magazine 16.07." (2008).

Drucker, Johanna. "Humanities approaches to graphical display." Digital Humanities Quarterly 5, no. 1 (2011): 1-21.

December 1: Leaflet (Webmaps)

December 15: How to Display Data Badly

Wainer, Howard. "How to Display Data Badly." The American Statistician 38, no. 2 (1984): 137-147.