Week 4 – Visualizations, Maps, and Time

Information visualizations are used to make quantitative data legible. They are particularly useful for large amounts of information and for making patterns in the data legible in a condensed form. All information visualizations are metrics expressed as graphics. The implications of this simple statement are far ranging—anything that can be quantified, given a numerical value, can be turned into a graph, chart, diagram, or other visualization through computational means. All parts of the process—from creating quantified information to producing visualizations—are acts of interpretation. Understanding how graphic formats impose meaning, or semantic value, is crucial to the production of information visualization. But any sense that “data” has an inherent “visual form” is an illusion. We can take any data set and put it into a pie chart, a continuous graph, a scatter plot, a tree map and so on. The challenge is to understand how the information visualization creates an argument and then make use of the graphical format whose features serve your purpose.

http://dh101.humanities.ucla.edu/?page_id=40

Reading:

 

Visualize This – Nathan Yau (Chapter 1)

 

Viewing

Exercises

Blog post options.

  • Option 1:
    • Create a small timeline (approx 10 entries) using Timeline.js https://timeline.knightlab.com/. Write a blog post that links (or embeds) your timeline and discusses your experience using Timeline.js. In your blog post, consider the following:
      • Why have you selected your particular topic/dates for the timeline?
      • What features did you like? What features did you have trouble with?
      • What do you feel are the potential uses, or limitations, of using the tool? 
  • Option 2:
    • Create a small storymap (approx 10 entries) using Storymap.js https://storymap.knightlab.com/. Write a blog post that links (or embeds) your timeline and discusses your experience using Storymap.js. In your blog post, consider the following:
      • Why have you selected your particular topic/dates for the storymap?
      • What features did you like? What features did you have trouble with?
      • What do you feel are the potential uses, or limitations, of using the tool?