I wanted to draw your attention to a recent post by Manuel Lima at Visual Complexity, a great blog and website about data visualization.  Lima discusses the state of visualization and provides his manifesto for what he sees as the proper requirements of  Information Visualization vs Information Art.

His rules:

  1. Form Follows Function
  2. Start with a Question
  3. Interactivity is Key
  4. Cite your Source
  5. The power of Narrative
  6. Do not glorify Aesthetics
  7. Look for Relevancy
  8. Embrace Time
  9. Aspire for Knowledge
  10. Avoid gratuitous visualizations

Interesting, and I think constructive, stuff.  You can read the details of each rule here.

Additionally, Lima has a fantastic list of Visualization resources and tools.  The best part is he classifies them as Easy, Medium, and Advanced, which is great for those like me that are just now dipping their toes into the Visualization waters.