This class schedule accompanies a longer syllabus that you should be sure to read. Due to the constantly evolving field of dataviz, this schedule is subject to change.


Tues 1/16 Class: Welcome!

About the class. See examples of amazing stories that can only be told by seeing visual data. Make your first data visualization as a group in class using Google Drive and Tabletop.js. We also walk through how to use the class blog.

Now that we’ve been inspired with great examples, let’s see some see examples of classic ethical failures using data visualization, like this:, or this map of Ashley Madison registered users. and examples of generalizations that misinterpreted data. We review where to find public data and how to use Excel to “interview data” (sorting, filtering, normalizing).

Assignment 1: Register for the class blog, fill out this survey.

Homework before next class: Sign up for the Excel Fundamentals class, and go through everything in chapter 3: Creating Formulas and Functions. (Remember, Lynda courses are free to you if you sign in using the instructions outlined here).

Excel basics:

Thursday 1/18: Finding and Working With Data

Guest: Jodi Upton, Knight Chair in Data and Explanatory Journalism.

Assignment 2: Find an interesting story from data at the New York State open data site. Create a chart in with data you find and embed it into the class blog along with a story about what the data tells us.



Tues 1/23 Class: No-Code Tools and Simple Web Visualizations

Google Maps, Google Fusion Tables, Thinglink, Google Fusion Tables and other simple visualization tools that don’t require advanced coding.

Thursday 1/25: Interactive Timelines and StoryMaps

Move beyond a text-heavy timeline of events and make it interactive using Timeline.js. Review examples of timelines in news stories, and see how to make them yourself.

Assignment 3: create a data visualization using one of the no-code tools above to tell a story using data that you find and analyze yourself.



Tues 1/30 Class:  Highcharts

Explore how to use the Highcharts javascript library to create quick interactive online charts that you can upload to your web site:

Thursday 2/1: Highcharts lab

Work on a high chart for your assignment.

Assignment 4: Create a high chart using data you find and embed it in the class blog.


Tues 2/6 Class: Tabletop sortable, searchable data tables

Remember that class roster we created together the first day? Now you’re going to use the same code to make your own searchable, sortable data table.

Thursday 2/8: Tabletop lab

Assignment 5: Create a sortable, searchable list for a story. Post in the class blog.


WEEK 5: D3, Maps and More

Tues 2/13 Class:  Javavscript, Jquery and D3

Assignment 6: Post your NVD3 visualizations in the class blog along with a story explaining the data behind it, and why it matters.

Thursday 2/15: Leaflet Maps

Assignment 7: Leaflet map assignment

Assignment 8: Submit a proposal for your final project.


Make sure you have taken a relevant online course and posted a blog entry about how you used what you learned to either improve one of your assignments, or to create a new visualization not covered in class. If you create a new visualization, be sure to embed it into the blog post. Be sure to post a link to the blog post into the Requirement assignment in Blackboard.


Use at least three of the data visualization tools we have used in class to create a multi-faceted story that you publish on the class blog. The data and topic should be different from examples and tutorials in your assignments. Feel free to use any of the tools listed here, too:

The final project is due exactly 30 days after the last class.