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Narrative Visualization: Telling Stories with Data

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2 Author(s)
Segel, E. ; Stanford Univ., Stanford, CA, USA ; Heer, J.

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.

Published in:

Visualization and Computer Graphics, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:16 ,  Issue: 6 )