T-61.271 Visualization project description
27. Misleading visualizations

Autumn 2003

Read the project description carefully. Questions and comments can be sent to

General information

The purpose of the project work is to get hands on experience and deeper understanding on one specific area of the course. At the same time you will be forced to think on some of the more general issues that are confronted every time a visualization method is developed or used.

To complete the project you will probably need information that has not been discussed on the lectures or in the exercises. Most of the time relevant information can be easily found on the web, course books or in some cases references to articles will be given. If you have problems finding information on the subject please contact the lecturer or the assistant for hints and guidance.

The project work will be valid for one year after the original deadline.

General requirements

specific requirements

The goal of this project is to study the ways the visualizations can lie, while at the same time being technically correct. See e.g. the explanation of the lie factor by Tufte.

To pass you should do the following

  1. Collect some examples of misleading visualizations from the Finnish media and analyze them.

  2. Use your knowledge of lie factors and vision research (e.g. how to make some features unnoticeable) to construct misleading visualizations of some data sets of your choosing.

  3. Create non misleading visualizations of the above.

The report should explain how each visualization is lying.

Submitting the project work

The project work should be submitted my email to:


Jarkko Venna 2003-09-17