November 7, 2011

A Visualization Hippocratic Oath

Jason Moore of the US Air Force Research Laboratory, has proposed a Hippocratic Oath for Visualization:
I shall not use visualization to intentionally hide or confuse the truth which it is intended to portray. I will respect the great power visualization has in garnering wisdom and misleading the uninformed. I accept this responsibility wilfully and without reservation, and promise to defend this oath against all enemies, both domestic and foreign.
Reading this reminded me of Manuel Lima's Information Visualization Manifesto, here's a brief summary:
  • Form follows function
  • Start with a question
  • Interactivity is key
  • The power of narrative
  • Do not glorify aesthetics
  • Look for relevancy
  • Embrace time
  • Aspire for knowledge
  • Avoid gratuitous visualizations
I like both Moore's Oath and Lima's Manifesto.  The Oath has elements of the paraphrasing of the Hippocratic Oath for physicians: First, do no harm, which underpins the guidance provided by the Manifesto.

What do you think?

Via EagerEyes.