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Books

Each card contains the basic data plus a brief explanation about the book. Some of them have a link to a rťsumť of the book (typically written in a sketchy way by myself).

Besides presenting an image of the cover (when available) the rating of amazon.com about the book is also placed below.

When we speak about InfoVis we are just referring to Information Visualisation, for short.

The books are classified by topics:

Graph and chart drawing

4
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Information Graphics
P. Wildbur & M. Burke ISBN 0-500-28077-0
176 pp.
Thames & Hudson
1998

An excellently illustrated book, with updated examples of what to do and what to avoid on Information Graphics.

5
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Beyond words. A guide to drawing ideas
Milly R. Sonneman ISBN 0-89815-911-3
224 pp.
Ten Speed Press
1997

A simple but very interesting book with many useful illustrations on how to present ideas

4
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Information Graphics: A Comprehensive Illustrated Reference
Robert L. Harris ISBN 0-19-513532-6
448 pp.
Oxford University Press
1999

Harris's book is an in depth reference work where you can find a huge amount of information graphics properly classified along with its constituting elements.

As a reference it is an indispensable book. Nevertheless it isn't appropriate for those wanting to learn how to render information graphics since it's not conceived as a didactical book for learning.

It is organised alphabetically and contains a vast amount of well rendered illustrations. Each entry is made up of the description of the graphic or element along with one or more illustrations about the same with an extensive explanation of its features, specific terminology associated and its applications.

General terminology, like for example, coordinate, fill, axis, polygon, matrix, etc. have independent specific entries. For convenience, the same graphic can appear repeatedly under multiple headings.

Human-Machine Interaction

0
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Interacción en interfaces de recuperación de información: conceptos, metáforas y visualización
Mari Carmen Marcos ISBN 84-9704-118-6
354 pp.
Trea
2004

Information Arquitecture

4
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Information Architects
Richard Saul Wurman et al. ISBN 1-888001-38-0
240 pp.
Watson-Guptill Pubns.
1997

Elegant book with a very careful graphic design, edited by one of the gurus of Information design, Richard S. Wurman.

It contains examples of the most interesting works in Info Design from the graphic design  standpoint, produced by several well known designers, what Wurman calls Information Architects.

Recommended.

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Information Architecture for the World Wide Web
L. Rosenfeld & P. Morville ISBN 1-56592-282-4
226 pp.
O'Reilly
1998

This is one of the classical books on the subject. Well written, easy to understand, concise and practical. The right place to find best practice advice on web design from the Information Architect standpoint.

The book begins with a clarifying introduction to the topic spread through the first 3 chapters, including the definition, the role of the Information Architect, the disciplinary background and the organisational challenges that IA has to deal with.

Then, more practical chapters follow, dealing with navigation, labeling, searching, research, conceptual design and production and operations. Chapter 10 closes the book with a case study. 

If you are serious about web design, you should read the book.

Information Design

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Information Design
Robert E. Jacobson ISBN 0-262-10069-X
357 pp.
MIT Press
1999

Excellent book as an academic foundation of InfoVis. It's not a 'How To' book nor a practical guide or manual. However, it's indispensable if you want to understand the foundations of InfoVis.

The book is a collection of essays, edited by Robert E. Jacobson.

2
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Visual Function: An Introduction to Information Design
Paul Mijksenaar ISBN 1-568981-18-X
56 pp.
Princeton Architectural Pr.
1997

Recommended, although I have not yet had the opportunity to read it.

Information Retrieval

4
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Modern Information Retrieval
Ricardo Baeza-Yates y Berthier Ribeiro-Neto et al. ISBN 0-20139-829-X
513 pp.
ACM Press series
1999

Notable book on Information Retrieval, that constitutes an excellent State of the Art. Besides the authors, that have written the first 9 chapters, in the second part of the book there are  contributions of some of the most relevant  experts in the different aspects of the related disciplines.

Although there are different contributions, the book has a well structured organization and maintains both coherence and unity. There is plenty of updated references.

It's possible to download the  Introduction in pdf format and also chapter 10 (User Interfaces and Visualization), of interest to InfoVis and written by  Marti Hearst.

Information Visualisation

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Visualización de Información
Juan C. D√ľrsteler ISBN 84-8088-836-9
152 pp.
Gestion 2000
2001

4
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Information Visualization. Perception for design
Colin Ware ISBN 1-55860-511-8
438 pp.
Morgan Kaufmann series in interactive   technologies
1999

An excellent book written by Colin Ware, Director of the Data Visualization Research Lab. It's centred in the perceptual aspects of Information Visualisation. 

This is a book solidly based on the latest scientific articles related to psychology, neurophysiology, physiological optics and visual perception. Nevertheless, it elaborates a series of conclusions than can be applied in the day to day practice of the professional of Information Visualisation.  

Don't look here for a how-to guide on image making.The information that contains, properly adapted to your particular needs, provides a very interesting and applicable view of the perceptual processes that take part in Information Visualisation. Indispensable.

5
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Readings in Information Visualisation: Using Vision to Think
Stuart K. Card et al ISBN 1-55860-533-9
686 pp.
Morgan Kaufmann series in interactive   technologies
1999

The first book ever explicitly on Information Visualisation. It is a collection of the fundamental publications and articles on the speciality.

The articles are classified by topic and cover the last 15 years of scientific literature on the speciality. An interesting introduction helps to outline what the authors define as Information Visualisation. You can see a review on the book at http://www.mantex.co.uk/reviews/card.htm

Academic or highly technical, if you want, but absolutely fundamental to understand where we come from and where are we heading in InfoVis. Absolutely a must.

5
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The Visual Display of Quantitative Information
Edward R. Tufte ISBN 0-9613921-0-X
197 pp.
Graphics Press
1983

Edited, designed and almost made directly in its own press by the author. It's a visual marvel. This book is an example, as all the other books edited by Tufte, of how to make understandable quantitative information in a brief and visual way.

An indispensable classic even for the illiterate!.

5
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Envisioning Information
Edward R. Tufte ISBN 0-9613921-1-8
126 pp.
Graphics Press
1990

Another marvel edited and written by Tufte. Absolutely indispensable.

5
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Visual Explanations
Edward R. Tufte ISBN 0-9613921-2-6
156 pp.
Graphics Press
1997

The last wonder published by Tufte. As with the other titles, highly commendable...

5
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Visual Revelations
Howard Wainer ISBN 0-8058-3878-3
180 pp.
Lawrence Erlbaum
1997

This is a book √° la Tufte, with profusion of examples about excellent graphics, not so excellent ones and pitiful graphics.

It gathers into only one volume a big deal of what Tufte defines in three. For this very reason you have at the reach of your hand an important quantity of good advice about how to make good graphic representations.  

The critique: as it happens with Tufte's books, it lacks a solid theory unifying the narrative discourse . This way the book resembles a compilation of very interesting experiences and examples instead of giving solid foundations.

4
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Information Visualization
Robert Spence ISBN 0-201-59626-1
206 pp.
Addison-Wesley
2000

This book is probably the first to cover Information Visualisation from an integrated standpoint. It's not a collection of papers about the topic but a well structured review of the many topics that compose this emerging discipline.

It includes many examples of practical application of Information Visualisation, mostly centred in the latest advances and achievements in the field.

It's written by Robert Spence, professor of Information Engineering at the Imperial College, London. A professional with many years of research in this field.

It is a very readable book that fits very well both as a good introduction to the field for the layman and also as a textbook for an introductory course. Very commendable

Miscellaneous

5
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Marks of Excellence
Per Mollerup ISBN 0-7148-3838-1
240 pp.
Phaidon
1990

Subtitled 'The History and Taxonomy of Trademarks', this book is a must if you want to understand what lies behind corporative identity designs, their history and classification.

Usability

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The Design of Everyday Things
Donald Norman ISBN 0-262-64037-6
257 pp.
MIT Press
2003

A classic and mythical book in the world of design applied to everyday objects. Although the explicit applications refer to material objects, most of the principles and learnings of the book are applicable to other fields of design. 

The book focuses in the cognitive aspects of design and contains many examples of good designs, inappropriate designs and some delirious designs as well.

Indispensable for those people related to design of any sort. Interesting for all of us that suffer daily the effects of user-unfriendly designs.

4
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Designing Web Usability
Jakob Nielsen ISBN 1-56205-810-X
432 pp.
New Riders Pub.
2000

A best seller appeared in early 2000.  Jakob Nielsen, very popular thanks to his web on Web Usability, distillates in this book the questions to be aware of and the errors to avoid when designing a web site with usability criteria in mind.

The conclusion is that the secret on the ease of use (usability) of a web is simplicity.

It's worth having it.

4
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Home Page Usability
Jakob Nielsen y Marie Tahir ISBN 0-7357-1102-X
138 pp.
New Riders Pub.
2001

A carefully edited book, with a nice page design and layout, that talks about the important topic of the homepage usability of a web site.

The book has two parts: the first one discusses the 113 guidelines that, according to the authors, are worth taking into account when designing a homepage. In the second one the authors dissect 50 important web site homepages as examples of what works and what doesn't. 

The book is comprehensive, clear and easy to follow, although some of the criticisms that it makes on certain aspects of the web sites are opinable. Something that is, on the other hand, unavoidable given the incipient stage of web usability at the present moment. 

Commendable.

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No Me Hagas Pensar
Steve Krug ISBN 84-205-3252-5
189 pp.
Prentice Hall
2001

The Spanish version of Don't Make me Think

3
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Web Site Usability : A Designer's Guide
Jared M. Spool et al. ISBN 1-55860-569-X
180 pp.
Morgan Kaufmann
1998

The book presents a series of practical experiences performed by the author and the team he leads. It's interesting, since it provides some good ideas, which sometimes contradict -if not collide- with our intuition, on how people use and navigate through a web site.

The book does not pretend to build solid foundations, as the  methodology used in the study and the low number (9) of sites involved does not allow for definitive conclusions. 

4
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Don't Make Me Think
Steve Krug ISBN 0-7897-2310-7
189 pp.
New Riders
2001

A delightful book to read. Written in a cool but rigorous style and with plenty of common sense. It covers most of the fundamental questions about web usability in a practical, easy and concise way.

The explanations are simple and clear although the topics are treated sufficiently in depth. The remarkable absence of dogmatism and pretentiousness pervades this excellent book. The illustrations are attractive and clarifying. 

The overall quality of the contents and the presentation of information is excellent.

An indispensable book. Don't miss it.

Visual Language

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The Grammar of Graphics
Leland Wilkinson ISBN 0-387987-74-6
408 pp.
Springer-Verlag
1999

Wilkinson presents in this book a theory for the specification of quantitative plots and charts, mainly of statistical data. This theory is similar to that presented by Jacques Bertin in his legendary book "The semiology of Graphics", but the author extends and modifies it in order to introduce his particular methodology.

An interesting aspect of this approach is that by means of the combination of a few basic components it's possible to generate a great deal of different charts.

The author also includes examples of charts, some of them well known, that are specified through a set of sentences similar to those of a programming language.

Summarising, a useful book for those people interested in the analysis of the theory for the design and specification of computer generated charts.

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Visual Language Theory
K. Marriot y B. Meyer (eds.) ISBN 0-387-98367-8
381 pp.
Springer-Verlag
1998

This book is a compilation of twelve scientific articles related to the field of visual language theory. As such it covers many research topics relevant to the speciality. One of them is an interesting survey  on the current state of the art in this discipline.

It's mainly a book of academic nature, very commendable for researchers of this field and also suitable as a graduate-level text for a course or seminar. 

Not commendable if what you want is an intuitive or simple approximation to this interesting field.

Visualisation Theory

5
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Sémiologie Graphique
Jacques Bertin ISBN 2-7132-1277-4
442 pp.
Les Re-impressions des Editions de l'Ecole des Hautes Etudes En Sciences Sociales
1999

The first edition of this excellent book by Jacques Bertin, considered by many as a monumental work of graphic visualisation, comes from 1967. Hence it's a book that belongs to the very origins of the eclosion of Information Visualisation.

Notably rigorous, yet understandable, La Semiologie settles the foundations of the analysis of information, the basic variables (variables rétiniennes), the rules of graphic systems, including creation and legibility rules, and its application to diagrams networks and cartography. 

The book is full of graphics, diagrams and charts, edited in a simple way for modern standards, sometimes with patterns that we would refuse today, but perfectly valid for the technology of that time (1967!). So if you are expecting a careful and elegant editorial design for current standards, this is the wrong book. 

If instead of this what you are looking for is a serious study of the foundations of graphics and the rules for building the same, i.e. a serious semiological study, this is The Book.

Note that the English edition is very difficult to get since it's out of print.

Indispensable for those seriously interested in the field of graphic visualisation.

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