The Fifth Elephant 2017

On data engineering and application of ML in diverse domains

Rasagy Sharma


Maps ❤️ Data: A voyage across the world of geo-visualization

Submitted Jun 10, 2017

A talk on visualizing data with maps, with an aim to answer the following questions:

  • What are the different ways that you can visualize data on maps?
  • Which visualizations work best for a particular type of data?
  • How do I go about building these?


This talk aims at reflecting back at cartography practices over the centuries, and possibilities of visualizing data on maps with the today’s tools. Inspired by the survey format of the seminal paper titled “A tour through the visualization zoo” by Heer et al, I plan to cover a variety of types of geo-visualizations, accompanying each category with an explanation on what data suits it best, and tips on designing it.

Specifically, I plan to cover:

  • Showing data in a map (Manipulating map layers)
  • Showing data on a map (Overlaying data as a visualization layer on a map)
  • Showing data as a non-geographic map (Visualizations that may not be geographically accurate, like cartograms and isopleths)
  • Showing geographic data without a map (Like using parallel coordinates to show flow across geographic locations)

The talk will wrap-up with a short discussion on the tools that one can use today to build these.



Speaker bio

Rasagy Sharma works as a designer at Mapbox, where he helps build tools to improve the biggest geo-spatial open data project: OpenStreetMap, and explores custom map design & data visualizations. Before this, he worked as a UX Designer at Barclays, helped kickstart the Information Design Lab at IDC, IIT Bombay, and worked with the Cloud & Enterprise and Bing Sports team at Microsoft IDC, Hyderabad. He’s interested in Data Art and loves playing with code.




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