Conversations About Landscape

From Data to Decisions: How Visualizations of Our Environment Inform Our Actions


Tuesday, May 19, 2015 • 6:00–8:00 p.m.
Exploratorium, Pier 15, Fisher Bay Observatory Gallery
Free; RSVP required,* email reserve@exploratorium.edu, or call 415.528.4444, and choose option 5.


More and more of our lives and landscapes are recorded as data, whether through GPS trackers, satellite imagery, or rapid genomic sequencing. To help us comprehend these datasets, we need effective data visualizations—pictures that help our image-oriented brains detect the patterns hidden in mountains of numbers. At their best, visualizations can also empower us to make better-informed decisions. Join scientists and designers for a conversation about how data visualization can shape our daily lives and public policies.

Marine scientist Randy Kochevar will discuss the Tagging of Pelagic Predators project, which tags and tracks marine predators, revealing where they are headed and the hidden highways they use to migrate. Visualizations of the data are helping to inform the creation of marine protected areas.

Eric Rodenbeck will talk about some of the powerful and elegant visualizations his team at Stamen Design has created, such as interactive neighborhood crime maps, the movements of San Francisco taxicabs, and the routes of private commuter buses between San Francisco and Silicon Valley.

Matt Ganucheau will discuss how Grey Area Foundation encourages citizens to use visualizations to tackle local urban problems and create positive social impact.

About the Presenters:
Randy Kochevar is a Senior Research Scientist at the Education Development Center, and a Principal Investigator in the Tagging of Pelagic Predators program.

Stamen Design founder, CEO, and Creative Director Eric Rodenbeck came to San Francisco in 1994. His passion for cities, design, and technology has made him both a local and international leader at the intersection of all three.

Matt Ganucheau, Director of Education at Gray Area Foundation, is a San Francisco based artist, composer, designer, and educator with a passion for exploring the boundaries of interactive digital culture.

The Conversations About Landscape series is funded by the Coastal Conservancy and the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation.