Applying Racial Equity Awareness in Data Visualization

Jonathan Schwabish, Alice Feng

View presentation: 2020-10-25T20:22:00Z GMT-0600 Change your timezone on the schedule page
Exemplar figure, but none was provided by the authors


A data visualization style guide does for graphs what the Chicago Manual of Style does for English grammar: it defines the components of a graph and their proper, consistent use. At the Urban Institute, a nonprofit research institution based in Washington, DC, our data visualization style guide defines these styles for our research and communications staff. In the process of revising and expanding the style guide, we are taking a more diverse, equitable, and inclusive (DEI) perspective to our research, data, and visualizations. To date, our approach has been to create a set of recommendations and issues to consider, rather than a set of rules that researchers must follow. In this paper, we discuss eight techniques that data visualization producers should consider when creating visuals with this DEI approach. As with our existing style guide, we consider this a first step in our thought process of creating graphs and producing content through a DEI lens.