We did our UC Berkeley Visual Urban Data talk on Thursday, and from this side of the podium, it went really well. Tom covered the first half with a reverse-chronological overview of Stamen's mapping work. We chose to go backwards to see whether it was a more effective presentation when the most up-to-date work was presented first, with the remainder acting as background. I then went in-depth about Oakland Crimespotting, describing the project's brief history and a number of lessons we've learned from it.
Turnout was excellent, and my first time doing a one-topic talk was loads of fun. This is definitely something I want to do again: taking a full hour to deeply explain a particular slice through our work is a welcome change from our usual rapid overview presentations. Hopefully video will be available soon, and we'll have a chance to revise and present the material a second time in another context.
The reverse-chronological order was partially inspired by Norman Davies' Heart Of Europe:
Heart of Europe: A Short History Of Poland makes no pretense of presenting a full and balanced survey of Polish affairs over the last thousand years. Although each chapter contains a brief chronological narrative, the emphasis has been firmly placed on those elements of Poland's Past which have had the greatest impact on present attitudes. ... For similar reasons, the main chapters have been written in reverse chronological order. ... In this way, the narrative leads from the more familiar to the less familiar.