DEADLINE EXTENDED: The IEEE PacificVis 2018 Visual Data Storytelling Contes

  • Deadline:
    Jan. 26, 2018, 1:01 p.m.
  • Location:
    Kobe, Japan

DEADLINE EXTENDED: The IEEE PacificVis 2018 Visual Data Storytelling Contest (Deadline: January 26, 2018)

Following the success of the successful 2017 IEEE PacificVis Data Storytelling Contest, the contest will take place for the second time in 2018. Data storytelling, narrative visualization, or explanatory visualization has emerged as an important industry trend, with events such as the Tapestry Conference, the Information is Beautiful Awards, and the Malofiej Infographics World Summit, as well as new visual essay publications and blogs such as The Pudding, Explorable Explanations and Google News Lab’s Data Journalism blog. The purpose of this contest is to encourage students and researchers to demonstrate the value of their visualization research through effective visual data storytelling, and to contribute to this exciting development in the broader visualization community.

PacificVis is a unified visualization symposium, welcoming all areas of visualization such as: information, scientific, graph, security, and software visualization. Storytellers are invited to submit visual data-driven stories that draw upon any of these areas. Unlike contests such as the VAST challenge or the SciVis Contest, the data for the PacificVis visual data storytelling contest will be left unspecified; storytellers are free to choose any publicly-available dataset(s). Similarly, the task that storytellers are to accomplish is to successfully communicate a message or series of messages (i.e., a narrative, a series of insights) using visualization techniques and supported by the underlying data. The themes of the story can draw from any topic, including current affairs, history, natural disasters, and research findings from the sciences and humanities.

Videos of the 8 finalists from the 2017 contest can be viewed at

Entries may be submitted by teams or individuals, and from both industry and academia alike. Conference sponsors can participate non-competitively. Submissions must fulfill the requirements explained below:


Submissions can take several forms:
Website: an author-hosted website is preferred, however authors may opt to submit a .zip archive of a website containing all dependencies and a readme .txt or .md file with instructions on how to view the website locally. Authors submitting a website are also highly encouraged to submit a .zip archive containing screenshots and/or a video capture of the website via PCS as a fallback in the event that the contest chairs and judges are unable to view the website. Authors are encouraged to use interactive and animated elements that advance the story, such as scrollytelling waypoints or stepper navigation controls. Websites that require the viewer to engage in substantial exploratory interaction are discouraged.
Video: .mp4, .avi, or .mov formats are preferred, with a maximum length of 5 minutes. Note that video submissions that appear to be tutorials or demonstrations of a visualization tool will not be considered; the focus of the submission must be a visual narrative about the data, not a visualization tool or technique.
Data Comic: a multi-page .pdf file that tells a story in the style of a comic book.
Infographic: a single-page poster .pdf file that tells a story.
A succinct story title or headline.
An abstract not exceeding 150 words using the IEEE VGTC poster template that briefly describes the data analysis and design process undertaken by the storyteller(s). The abstract should not include the message(s) communicated by the story; the story must stand alone in this regard such that a viewer should not need to read the abstract to understand the story. If submitting the story as a website, authors must include the URL of the story in this abstract.
A list of references that include the publicly-available dataset(s) that informed the story and those that are visually represented within the story, as well as any tools, libraries, previously published techniques, or software applications used during the data analysis and story design process.
The story must feature at least one programmatically-generated visual representation of data; visual representations of data generated by manual illustration (e.g., on paper, using illustration software) are allowed; however, these representations must be used in conjunction with a programmatically-generated visual representations of data. In addition, the programmatically-generated visual representation(s) should be the authors’ own work, using techniques or tools created by the authors. Third party techniques or applications may be used in conjunction with the authors’ own work as long as proper credit is given to their respective creators and it is made clear which aspects of the implementation represent the authors’ own work.
The entries must be original data-driven stories that have not been previously published elsewhere.
For the winning entries we expect the following additional requirements:
At least one member of the winning team must register for the conference and be present at the contest’s poster session and award ceremony.


The submission deadline is January 26th, 2018 9 PM PST.

The title, submission file, abstract, and reference list should be submitted via PCS (
The notification date is February 14th, 2018.

Final Submission: February 28st, 2018 9PM PST.

PacificVis Conference: April 10-13, 2018


A jury of visualization and data storytelling experts will carefully judge each submission. Successful entries will effectively communicate a narrative, message(s), or insight(s) using visual representations of data. Each judge assigned to a submission will give the submission a score from 1 to 5, and they will be asked the following questions:

Is this work relevant for the PacificVis Data Storytelling Contest?
Is the story original (i.e., not previously published elsewhere)?
Is the story engaging and interesting?
Is the narrative point or message of the story clearly discernible? Are insights clearly communicated?
Are data sources adequately referenced?
Are data sources publicly available?
Does the story feature at least one programmatically-generated visual representation of data?
Is it clear which aspects of the story represents the author(s)’ own work, using techniques or tools created by the authors?
Is proper credit given to the creators of third party techniques or applications used to generate the story?

The winner and honorable mention will be announced at PacificVis 2018.


The contest jury consists of:

Hirofumi Abe, Japan Broadcasting Corporation
RJ Andrews, Info We Trust
Steven Braun, Northeastern University
Jen Christiansen, Scientific American
Marti Hearst, University of California, Berkeley
Kenji Ishimaru, Polygon Pictures Inc.
Asanobu Kitamoto, National Institute of Informatics
Isabel Meirelles, OCAD University
Jonathan Roberts, Bangor University


For questions regarding the contest, please do not hesitate to contact the chairs directly via


Matthew Brehmer, Microsoft Research, USA
Ingrid Hotz, Linköping University, Sweden
Hidenori Watanave, Tokyo Metropolitan University, Japan