Notes from Eyeo

A couple of us at Temboo had the privilege of attending 2012’s Eyeo Festival, a four-day show-and-tell for the data-visualization community. The speakers approached their talks and their work from a wide range of goals, from communicating headline-worthy stories with journalistic integrity to killing ants with physics-influenced elegance. They were unified by a common approach: the designer assumes responsibility for the high-level
behaviors and aesthetics of their work while delegating the details to their data sets and the generative abilities of their code.

We currently have access to more resources than ever before in the software industry: APIs and open data initiatives provide raw numbers in accessible formats and huge quantities, and modern tools and libraries lower the barrier to wrangling, parsing, and acting on this data. One of the challenges that was reiterated though out the conference was the need, in the face of this wide open frontier, to continue to create work that is meaningful, substantial, and novel. Deep data integration may now be an essential aspect of modern applications, but it is not on its own sufficient for success.