Nightingale illustration — colorful!
Nightingale illustration — colorful!

A guide to the new 2021 guidelines for submitting your article

In addition to helping writers to level up their skills, these guidelines will provide alignment for our editorial team in assisting writers through the review process. For any feedback or just to ask any question at all, please write: nightingale@datavisualizationsociety.org

In order to publish your article on Nightingale, you need to evaluate your article on each of the following six questions before you submit it to our editorial team.

1. What is the unique topic of your article?

Nightingale is the journal of the Data Visualization Society (DVS). We are interested in stories about all aspects of data visualization and information design for any industry, discipline, or mindset! …

By Jason Forrest and Mary Aviles

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Mockup of a printed Nightingale cover. Artwork by Giorgia Lupi.

Today, Nightingale is a welcome mat, a digital front door, and a platform for our thoughts, skills, and even emotions. More than anything, we realize that Nightingale is a supportive, generous community. It is a place for practitioners to give back, to learn, and advance their ideas. It is a platform to show our work, to share and explain a perspective — to be who we want to be.

What else can we do for our readers and for the community?

We have always been enthusiastic about supporting new voices and over a third of our articles in 2020 came from first-time writers. But after reflecting on our process and publishing achievements…

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Illustration from “War and Human Nature”, 1946

Revisiting a pamphlet from 1946 that helps explain what is happening in America right now

We all know about being doomed to repeat the past, despite the fact that nearly all our current social, cultural, and political issues have precedence. On January 6th, a mob of Trump loyalists stormed the US Capitol building for several hours, violently acting on their politically opportunistic frustrations. The caustic emotions on display in Washington D.C. have set many people around the world on a journey to find answers.

For many of us involved in historic research, we naturally began to dig into digital and physical archives to see what we might find to guide us. My focus is primarily…

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Resettlement Administration exhibit at San Diego Fair, California, May 1936 (Library of Congress)

As we’re all trying to keep pace with the sweeping world events of today, I started to think back to an earlier time of volatility. The period between the world wars showed a similar complex reality in the US, eventually resulting in massive infrastructural changes created during the New Deal.

In 1929, the US Great Depression emphasized a series of structural weaknesses in the US economy (and social fabric). Herbert Hoover’s ineffectual political response resulted in one of the biggest landslide victories in US politics to Franklin Delano Roosevelt in the election of 1932. …

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It’s honestly hard to believe that it has been only a year since I announced the founding of Nightingale. As the editor-in-chief, it’s been an exhilarating journey of friendships, meetings, late-night editing, and the daily joy of sharing articles (and voices) that we all care deeply about. Here, on our first birthday, I thought I’d take a few moments to share some reflections and thank-yous. I’ll try not to get too philosophical.

While it’s thrilling to consider what we have done, we also need to take stock of how different the world we live in today is. The COVID-19 pandemic…

https://modley-telefact-1939-1945.tumblr.com/
https://modley-telefact-1939-1945.tumblr.com/
112 Telefact charts from 1938–1938, syndicated by Pictograph Corporation https://modley-telefact-1939-1945.tumblr.com/

While Otto Neurath invented the Isotype in Vienna in 1925 and guided its evolution to international acclaim, he was not successful in the United States. Unfortunately, his method of pictorial statistics was not readily taught in schools and is not (yet) practiced today.

But it turns out that isotype charts were prevalent in US government documents in the 1930s and 1940s. If you look for them, you can find isotypes sprinkled all over the US during this time — they just weren’t made by Otto or Marie Neurath. No, the growth and popularity of pictorial statistics in the USA are…

An interview with the Financial Times data-journalist about his experience visualizing the COVID-19 pandemic

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One hears the word ‘unprecedented’ a lot these days. It’s as if the language we use to explain our world is breaking down and superlatives just aren’t able to keep up with the new reality brought to us by the coronavirus pandemic. Living through the past month has brought an avalanche of hard to answer questions, as we’re limited to data that is sparse and difficult to analyze.

Many have noted the importance of data visualization in helping people attempt to make sense of it all with a few data journalists contributing significant impact. One of them is John Burn-Murdoch

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The spine of “The Struggle for Five Years in Four” as photographed in the NYPL, photo by the author

Documenting the little-known Isotypes created by the IZOSTAT — a Soviet ‘spin-off’ by Otto Neurath in 1932

Libraries are full of knowledge waiting to be discovered. This untapped potential knowledge is hard to truly understand until you try to grasp the enormity of what is archived. Listening to the artist Jer Thorpe’s brilliant podcast, Artist in the Archive, created during an artist residency at the Library of Congress, one begins to grasp how futile the act of understanding the vastness of knowledge contained in our libraries can be. The same is true for the vastness of the internet. Luckily, we have Worldcat to help us find things.

In continuing my research on Otto and Marie Neurath, I…

What else are you gonna do during your weeks (months) of COVID-19 social distancing?

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With all this self-imposed social distancing (which is important and necessary) we have to keep ourselves amused somehow. My colleague passed over an emoji game which has been spreading in the UK, which I loved so much that I then decided to make my own!

One of the great things about playing (and making) this kind of emoji game is that it helps you think about visual language and how we communicate with signs. …

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RJ Andrews presenting his map at the David Rumsey Map Center

Breathing life into Isotype through a contemporary remake

If one is a fan of Nightingale, then hopefully the name RJ Andrews means something to you already. He helped us dig into the dataviz work of Florence Nightingale when we launched and he’s a regular contributor on all things historic dataviz. Beyond that, he’s my friend with a common passion — Isotype.

Recently, his Isotype-inspired fold-out map Cross-sections Through California caused a ruckus on Kickstarter snagging the coveted “Projects We Love” designation. If you act quickly, you can still contribute $26 to the campaign for a map and get a copy for yourself. …

Jason Forrest

Dataviz Designer at McKinsey, Editor-in-chief at Nightingale, Electronic Musician. Contact & more: jasonforrestftw.com

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