Storytelling is the most powerful way
to put ideas into the world today.


Tapestry Conference 2018

Miami, FL   |   November 29-30

The sixth Tapestry event will be held at the University of Miami's Newman Alumni Center in Coral Gables, FL.


Tapestry is an event designed to advance interactive online data storytelling. Tapestry brings different viewpoints together with the goal of generating a rich conversation about data storytelling. This two-day conference includes keynotes, short stories, discussion, and a demo theater designed to provoke ideas and discussion across disciplines.


We start at noon on Thursday and end by 4pm on Friday. For attendees coming from the East Coast, it should be possible to fly in Thursday morning and catch a plane out Friday night (7pm or later) – or stay in Miami for the weekend!

Keynote Speakers

Mona Chalabi

Mona Chalabi is a journalist who really loves numbers. She is the Data Editor of The Guardian where she writes articles, produces documentaries, and illustrates, as well as animates, data. She is also a data journalist for NPR. Mona has a master’s degree in International Security from the Paris Institute of Political Studies and has worked for FiveThirtyEight, the Banks of England, the Economist Intelligence Unit, and the International Organization for Migration.

Matthew Kay

Matthew Kay is Assistant Professor at the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor. His research revolves around making statistics more useful to non-experts and how to communicate uncertainty more effectively. He straddles the line between statistics and visualization, looking for new ways to inform visualization and develop better visual tools – whether to help you catch your bus or giving you a better understanding of the risk of being hit by the next hurricane.

Elijah Meeks

Elijah Meeks is Senior Data Visualization Engineer at Netflix, where he focuses on deploying information visualization for big data. He is also author of the book D3.js in Action and the React-based data visualization framework Semiotic. Elijah is an active voice on the topic on Twitter, and runs and publishes a highly-discussed survey of data visualization professionals.

Venue

Tapestry 2018 will take place at the Newman Alumni Center at the University of Miami in Coral Gables, FL.

Newman Alumni Center

6200 San Amaro Dr
Coral Gables, FL

Program

Thursday, November 29

12:00pm

Lunch

1:00pm

Keynote

Mona Chalabi

Data Editor, The Guardian
Mona Chalabi is a journalist who really loves numbers. She is the Data Editor of The Guardian where she writes articles, produces documentaries, and illustrates, as well as animates, data. She is also a data journalist for NPR. Mona has a master’s degree in International Security from the Paris Institute of Political Studies and has worked for FiveThirtyEight, the Banks of England, the Economist Intelligence Unit, and the International Organization for Migration.
2:00pm

Coffee Break

2:30pm

As you show, so shall you reap: causes and consequences of bad design in (scientific) visual communication

Aritra Dasgupta

Assistant Professor, NJIT

Does bad design lead to bad science? Why should scientists invest their time in learning about visualization best practices? My talk will explore these questions about communication-oriented visualization design in science domains. I will demonstrate what a value proposition looks like for scientists to alter their well-established design conventions, some of which can lead to errors in visual judgment or sub-optimal user experience.

2:50pm

The Data Visualizations of W.E.B. Du Bois

Jason Forrest

Data Visualization Designer, McKinsey
At the 1900 Paris Exposition an African-American team lead by W.E.B. Du Bois sought to challenge and recontextualize the understanding of the “Negro” in America. In 5 months, his team conducted the sociological research and hand-made more than 60 large data visualizations for a massive European audience which ultimately awarded Du Bois a gold medal for his efforts. The ramification of this work remains challenging to this day.
3:10pm

The Cartography of Elections

Ken Field

Senior Cartographic Product Engineer, Esri

Quoting former British Prime Minister Harold Wilson: “a week is a long time in politics”. The same might be said about electoral cartography. For many, elections provide a fascinating sideshow in seeing how the results are handled cartographically. Using recent United Kingdom I review shifts in cartographic style and the emergence of a fascinating consensus in terms of map type, style and functionality A new default appears to be emerging. I compare these to maps of the 2016 U.S. Presidential election where greater cartographic diversity exists. The geographies of two massively different countries account for some of this but consumer preference also creates different demands in the map reader.

3:30pm

Bringing the Genome Home – Bridging the Gap between Conservation and Data Storytelling

Jonni Walker

Senior Data Artist, Tableau Software

The Kākāpō is a nocturnal, flightless Parrot that lives in New Zealand. So few exist (148) that they are all individually named. In this talk I’ll show how I worked with scientists to bring complicated data and science into a data story that helps the public understand this incredible conservation initiative in a more intimate way. And, how through this partnership, the Kākāpō Recovery Organization are now using to Tableau to forecast and map the future conservation of one of the rarest birds on the planet.

4:00pm

Demos

5:00pm

Day 1 Wrap-Up

5:30pm

Networking Reception


Friday, November 30

9:00am

Keynote

Matthew Kay

Assistant Professor, The University of Michigan at Ann Arbor
Matthew Kay is Assistant Professor at the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor. His research revolves around making statistics more useful to non-experts and how to communicate uncertainty more effectively. He straddles the line between statistics and visualization, looking for new ways to inform visualization and develop better visual tools – whether to help you catch your bus or giving you a better understanding of the risk of being hit by the next hurricane.
10:00am

Coffee Break

10:30am

Storytelling with Color

Kristin Henry

Computer Scientist, Datablick
Curious about how an artist changes over time, I took my coding and data visualization tools to explore color changes. First, with my own year-long drawing adventure. Then, with the career of a comedic video artist.
10:50am

WORDS > VISUALS 

Bill Shander

Founder, Beehive Media
Most visualizations literally mean nothing without words (labels, context-setting text, etc.) Equally as importantly, and perhaps surprisingly, the words you use to tell the data story to yourself are the key to your success. These words help you focus your story, ensure you’re telling a logical flowing sequence of ideas, and will often lead you directly to the best visual representation of the data to help make your story sing.
11:10am

Personalizing Climate Change

Nadja Popovich

Graphics Editor, The New York Times
Climate change can often feel abstract, far away in both time and space. In this talk, I’ll show a recent Times project that attempts to localize the impacts of our warming world. I’ll talk through some of the challenges of personalizing climate data, and how visuals and interactivity can help readers understand this complex topic in a more intimate way.
11:30am

Charts as Utterances

Alex Wein

Data Engineer, Bugcrowd
What makes a chart good or bad? Like any other form of communication, a chart succeeds if it conveys an intended idea to an intended audience. By treating visualization as communication, we can use tools from other fields. I’ll borrow from pragmatics — the subfield of linguistics that examines how context impacts the meaning of words — to look at how the context in which a chart is “uttered” determines what is communicated.
12:00pm

Lunch

1:00pm

Pecha Kucha Talks

Short PechaKucha-style talks. We will send out a call for talks to registered attendees shortly before the conference.
2:00pm

Coffee Break

2:30pm

Keynote: 3rd Wave Data Visualization

Elijah Meeks

Senior Data Visualization Engineer, Netflix
Data visualization techniques and tools have improved dramatically over the last ten years but our models for successful data visualization and professional advice have not kept up. Exploratory data analysis and explanatory data presentation are not so distinct as they once were, and the various modes that data visualization occurs in (e.g. notebooks, business intelligence tools, custom dashboards and scrollytelling articles) are converging in features and reader expectations. This convergence signals a 3rd wave of data visualization, distinct from a 1st wave centered on Tufte and a 2nd wave focused on systematizing the encoding of information typified by the Grammar of Graphics. This third wave data visualization requires new approaches to critiquing and teaching data visualization that emphasize design and impact.
Elijah Meeks is Senior Data Visualization Engineer at Netflix, where he focuses on deploying information visualization for big data. He is also author of the book D3.js in Action and the React-based data visualization framework Semiotic. Elijah is an active voice on the topic on Twitter, and runs and publishes a highly-discussed survey of data visualization professionals.
3:30pm

Closing