If you were teaching a course in data visualization…

… what would you include? I’m developing a course in data viz over the summer and am in the brainstorming phase now. Here’s what I’ve got. What would you do?

Course Description

A written narrative is not always the best way to convey information. Sometimes, you have to see the data in order to see the meaning in it. With more data available than any other time in our history, being able to visualize data is becoming a vital communication skill. This course will cover a wide array of subjects related to gathering, analyzing, processing and visualizing data. Students will learn how to gather, clean and analyze data that already exists and will work with gathering their own data with cutting edge equipment. The class will also work on a real-world project.

Topic ideas

Visual communication theory
Types of data visualizations — when to use, how to read, how they can mislead
Basic data science — data types and structures
Basic data management — importing, cleaning
Basic data analysis — grouping, counting, sorting, summing
Data vis 1 — using Excel charts
Data vis 2 — using Google Fusion Tables
Data vis 3 — using the web as a canvas for data vis (basic HTML/CSS)
Data vis 4 — using a JavaScript data vis library TBA (Raphael? Flot? Both? Neither?)
Gathering your own data with UAVs and remote sensors
Visualizing data in real-time or near real time
How the basic of telling a story — a headline/title, a lead, context, content — apply to data visualizations
Basic math (via @RobinJP)
What not to visualize (via @knowtheory)