There are plenty of conferences on data visualisation to go to and then there are even more on the various technologies and tools that drive the web. So apart from language, budget and travel distance one has to narrow down exactly where additional input is needed.
I would argue that National Statistical Institutes or the readers of this blog by now have spent quite some time on the concepts of disseminating, explaining and visualising their data products and I am also of the opinion that off the shelf solutions are less than ideal. But statisticians are usually well suited to a little programming here and there so they should look into building data driven graphics themselves.
Technology wise there had been some discussion in previous years, which technology to follow. Flash was big among designers and developing platform specific apps has become chic. But HTML in its latest incarnation (“5”) together with graphical technologies like CSS, Canvas and SVG form the open web, that still has the best to offer in terms of accessibility to the largest amount of users, to search engines and to all the operating systems and devices that may come and go faster than we can plan in a bureaucracy.
The transition to a plug-in free Web is happening today.
Microsoft’s IE Blog
And clearly, Flash is on the way out, as the continuing success of iPad and iPhone demonstrate. Additionally in preparing this year’s launch of Windows 8 and their recent developments in IE9 and IE10 Microsoft promotes “plugin free surfing” and Adobe caters for modern technologies under the HTML5 umbrella with their tools.
This is where the 1st International Conference on Open Web Graphics comes in which is also the 10th International Conference on Scalable Vector Graphics. It’ll take place September 11 to 14, 2012 at ETH Zurich Hönggerberg Campus in Zurich/Switzerland. As the name change suggests it is not limited to SVG anymore, but clearly it is aimed at the open and graphical web and has in the past been the place where numerous developments of data driven graphics have been showcased.
Compared to other conferences SVG open is very affordable and even more so if you do a presentation. Should your office send at least two participants you should think about becoming a Sponsor of the conference which will be even cheaper than buying two standard tickets.
Hope you can copy something from this post to convince your employer and see you in Switzerland, September 11 to 14.