Dimiter Toshkov wins World Data Visualization Prize
The World Data Visualization Prize for 2019 was awarded to Dimiter Toshkov, Associate Professor at the Institute of Public Administration, for his work on the theme of small states and good governance. The prize is a good way to raise awareness about the value of good data visualization.
The competition was organized by the World Government Summit in cooperation with Information is Beautiful and focused on how governments can improve citizens’ lives. The prize attracted hundreds of submissions from all over the world in three categories: interactive visualizations, static images, and hand-drawn 'napkin' sketches. Toshkov's infographic, which competed in the 'static image' category, showed how government effectiveness relates to different measures of human development and illustrated how small countries tend to be more politically stable and free, and less corrupt.
The importance of data visualisation
The World Data Visualization Prize helps to acknowledge the relevance of data visualisation. ‘Data visualization is very important for communicating scientific results to other scientists and to the broader public,’ says Toshkov in response to the news. ‘It can also create beautiful products and be a lot of fun!’
Teaching data analysis
Toshkov is a social scientist specialising in data analysis. He is teaches courses and provides training on data visualization for university students and for civil servants, most recently for the Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management in the Netherlands. His recent work includes projects on visualizing political party classifications, exploring the structure of citizens' policy preferences, and tracing the changing face of the Dutch civil service.
For open science
In the spirit of open science, Toshkov uses R - a powerful, free, open-source software environment for statistical computing and graphics - for all his work. He shares the code and data for his projects. ‘Nowadays, there are many free tools and resources to make good graphics,’ says Toshkov, ‘so everyone should take advantage.’ For more information, you can visit Toshkov's website.