Zoe Sadokierski and Kate Sweetapple: Unlikely Avian Taxonomies

A seminal data visualisation paper, “Graphical Perception: Theory, Experimentation, and Application to the Development of Graphical Methods” by Cleveland and McGill, begins by naming and defining nine different elementary perceptual tasks and eleven different kinds of graphs. The perceptual tasks include: position common scale, position non-aligned scales, length, direction, angle, area, volume, curvature and shading. The graphs include: sample distribution function plot, bar charts, pie charts, divided bar charts, statistical maps with shading, curve-difference charts, Cartesian graphs, triple-scatter plots, volume charts and juxtaposed Cartesian graphs. The key premise of the paper is that graphs are interpreted according to basic perceptual tasks, and graphs which appeal to these more accurately performed tasks are likely to be more successful in conveying the desired information than others. 

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