Expert Galleries: Bryan Connor

Expert Galleries: Bryan Connor

Bryan Connor, the editor of The Why Axis, is the latest expert for our Expert Galleries. The Why Axis is a great data visualization blog looking at projects across of number of well-thought categories such as visualizations with open source components, visualizations tackling major news stories, and visualizations with print and web components. Bryan is also a professor in MICA’s new Information Visualization program and has a freelance design practice based in Baltimore where he helps companies build digital tools, products and visualizations. His gallery, Making Climate Change Visual, curates 7 projects that use data visualization to look at climate change through a variety of lenses — sea level rise, energy sources, global temperatures. Here Bryan talks about why he focused on climate change and what he learned. 

How and why did you choose the focus of the gallery?
Studying, visualizing and communicating this climate change is the only way to begin to have an effect on it. Visualizers face no greater challenge than trying to pin down and explain something so complex and ephemeral. If we can be successful in this we’ll have the opportunity to change public policy and the course of the future.

What is your favorite piece in the gallery and why?
That would have to be “Welcome to the Anthropocene.” It combines video, narration and visualization to effectively communicate the change that has occurred to usher us into a new epoch of a human dominated earth.

What is one insight you’d like viewers to take away from the gallery?
There are many lenses through which to view climate change. It’s a complex issue and no single visualization tells the whole story. But in aggregate the evidence of a dramatic global shift is undeniable.

What is one insight you discovered in making the gallery?
There are a surprising lack of insightful and explanatory visualizations that tackle this issue effectively. Organizations around the world are pursuing this issue but few seem to be using visualization as a tool to communicate their messages.  

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