Innovations in Visualization

Data Sketches

Jagoda Walny
Samuel Huron
Sheelagh Carpendale


Hand-drawn sketches, such as those on napkins and whiteboards, are commonly used as part of everyday thinking processes. These types of sketches can be thought of as spontaneously created representations of ideas and concepts, but can also be applied to data. Our question is whether a better understanding of sketched data representations can contribute a new perspective on our visual representation repertoire. To explore this, we conducted a qualitative study in which we asked people to manually sketch representations of a small, understandable dataset and to report on what they learned or found interesting about the data.

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Jagoda Walny, Samuel Huron and Sheelagh Carpendale. An Exploratory Study of Data Sketching for Visual Representation. Computer Graphics Forum, 34(3) The Eurographics Association and John Wiley & Sons Ltd., 2015. PDF Paper
Jagoda Walny and Sheelagh Carpendale. Data Sketches: An Exploratory Study. In Posters Compendium InfoVis, 2014. PDF Paper