Join Bill Shander for an in-depth discussion in this video Adding sparklines (manually), part of Designing a Data Visualization.
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- All right, so now it's time to add our sparklines,…which of course are going to show us trends over time…from 1980 to 2013, those little line charts that are going…to be next to each little country to show us those trends.…Now, one thing that's worth noting,…Excel has all these great chart tools built into it, right?…I can select a bunch of data, generate pie charts,…bar charts, all kinds of things.…It has the ability to generate sparklines.…Now, Excel, one of the things I love about it is…that when you generate these charts, you can actually…copy and paste those charts right into Illustrator.…They come in as vector objects…and you can work with them.…
It's fantastic.…My original plan was I would generate sparklines,…copy and paste them into Excel,…and just be able to work with them there,…size them up, move them around, et cetera.…But unfortunately, those sparklines that Excel generates…turns out they are bitmaps, at least I think…they're bitmaps, but anyway, they come in, not as vector,…and they come in as things that don't scale well.…
The UN Human Development Index used in this course is a perfect example: a composite number used to rank countries on how well they're doing across a range of measures (such as health, wealth, and education). Instructor Bill Shander shows how to make this index data tangible and approachable by imagining the story and visual approach first. He then builds the design in Adobe Illustrator, capitalizing on some automation and scripting abilities the program offers. Start watching for unique insights into the entire data visualization process.
- Working with the data
- Sketching and wireframing your design
- Roughing out the visual design components
- Manually creating the design in Illustrator
- Using Illustrator scripting to improve accuracy, speed, and repeatability
- Designing callout boxes, legends, labels, and more