Originally Janne Aukia brought up the idea on twitter to start a data visualization meetup in Helsinki. We started collaborating and Miska Knapek soon joined the effort. Data visualization in general has recently been the subject of many workshops and events. We felt there would be a need for a meetup group with a more focused theme. Janne, Miska and myself all work with UI design and we are fascinated by the possibilities of interactivity in data visualization. Focusing on this subject, the meetup got its name Interactive Visualisation Helsinki, or INT-VIS-HEL for short.
The program of the first meetup on November 20th was fairly straight forward. We had two topic starter speakers, five minute show-and-tell slots for anyone who wanted to talk about their work or interests and of course freeform mingling in between. Teemu Kurppa gave the first topic starter on “Tools for thinking” – how the right tools can expand human cognitive capabilities. Peter Tattersall‘s topic was “Visualization & power” – the role of maps and other visual representations in decision making and government.
The meetup gathered a crowd of about 30 people from very diverse fields. We had statisticians, designers, developers, journalists, social scientists, geographers, you name it! The level of interest confirmed my hopes that the meetup group will have an active future.
Futureful generously offered the spaces to host the meetup and provided some refreshments, too. Thanks!
The next INT-VIS-HEL will be organized early 2014.