Yale Digital Humanities Working Group

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"A Cultural History of Data Visualization," prepared for the Yale Digital Humanities Working Group, February 27, 2014.

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Yale Digital Humanities Working Group

  1. 1. A Cultural History of Data Visualization; or, The Long Arc of Visual Display Yale University Digital Humanities Working Group February 27, 2014 Lauren F. Klein Georgia Institute of Technology lauren.klein@lmc.gatech.edu
  2. 2. http://feltron.com/
  3. 3. Nick Felton, The 2006 Feltron Annual Report http://feltron.com/ar06_01.html
  4. 4. Nick Felton, The 2012 Feltron Annual Report http://feltron.com/ar12_04.html
  5. 5. http://daytum.com/
  6. 6. Nick Felton, The 2012 Feltron Annual Report http://feltron.com/ar12_04.html
  7. 7. http://theyrule.net/
  8. 8. http://hint.fm/wind/
  9. 9. Paul Rucker, Proliferation http://paulrucker.com/projects/proliferation/
  10. 10. S.W.A.M.P Collective Spore 1.1
  11. 11. “Graphics reveal data” (13).
  12. 12. From The Works of the Honorable Robert Boyle (1744)
  13. 13. http://dhdebates.gc.cuny.edu/debates/text/18
  14. 14. Joseph Priestley, A New Chart of History (1769)
  15. 15. “If the reader carry his eye vertically, he will see the contemporary state of all the empires subsisting in the world, at any particular time. He may observe which were then rising, which were flourishing, and which were upon the decline. Casting his eye a little on each side of the vertical line, he will see what empires had lately gone off the stage, and which were about to come on.”
  16. 16. Thomas Jeffreys, A Chart of Universal History (1753)
  17. 17. Nicolas Lenglet du Fresnoy, Tables chronologiques de l’histoire universelle (1729)
  18. 18. Visualization as “Cognitive Enhancement” • • • • • • Increased memory / processing resources Reduced search time Enhanced pattern recognition Perceptual inference (much faster than logical) Use of perceptual attention mechanisms for monitoring Encoding information in a manipulable form -- Stuart Card et al., Readings in Information Visualization: Using Vision to Think (Morgan Kaufman, 1999) h/t to Chris Sula for the reference
  19. 19. William Playfair, from The Commercial and Political Atlas (1786)
  20. 20. “On inspecting any one of these Charts attentively, a sufficiently distinct impression will be made, to remain unimpaired for a considerable time, and the idea which does remain will be simple and complete.”
  21. 21. William Playfair, from An Inquiry into the Permanent Cause of the Decline and Fall of Wealthy and Powerful Nations (1805)
  22. 22. William Playfair, “CHART, Shewing at One View The Price of The Quarter of Wheat, & Wages of Labour by the Week, from The Year 1565 to 1821” (1822)
  23. 23. “The minds of men, the boundaries of nations, their laws and relations with each other, are all in a state of change, and commerce must feel the consequences of those events of which it has been a principal cause. “Should those revolutions and partitions already effected, or about to be attempted, produce, as usual, political fermentation in proportion to their importance, Europe may probably be convulsed with war for fifty years to come. The last century has been the century of arts and commerce, this newly commenced may then be that of war and contention. If it turns out so, a picture of the past will be a valuable thing, if, on the contrary, commerce should continue its progress, this will make the first part of a great whole, which, when completed on some future day, will be a most valuable work.” “It is not only of importance that this species of information should be handed down, but also that it should go down in such a form and manner as that any person might even, though a native of another country, understand the nature of the business delineated.” William Playfair, “Preface to the Third Edition,” The Commercial and Political Atlas, 3rd edition (1801).
  24. 24. Emma Willard, Temple of Time (1846) http://blogs.princeton.edu/rarebooks/2008/12/standing_within_the_temple_of.html
  25. 25. Emma Willard, Temple of Time (1846) http://blogs.princeton.edu/rarebooks/2008/12/standing_within_the_temple_of.html
  26. 26. William Rankin Vine of Liberty (1849)
  27. 27. William Rankin Vine of Liberty (1849)
  28. 28. Consult American Antiquarian Society for image. Diagram and Statistical Record of the Signers of the Declaration of Independence (1858) Source: American Antiquarian Society
  29. 29. Gregor Aisch Data Insights: A Visualization
  30. 30. Visualization  insight • “We discover unimagined effects, and we challenge imagined ones.” --William Cleveland, Visualizing Data (1993)
  31. 31. Visualization  insight • • “We discover unimagined effects, and we challenge imagined ones.” --William Cleveland, Visualizing Data (1993) “I see it now. Aha!” --Martin Wattenberg, on data visualization (2007)
  32. 32. Visualization  insight • • • “We discover unimagined effects, and we challenge imagined ones.” --William Cleveland, Visualizing Data (1993) “I see it now. Aha!” --Martin Wattenberg, on data visualization (2007) It “forces” us to see. --Stephen Ramsay, “In Praise of Pattern” (1995).
  33. 33. Thomas Jefferson 1783 Catalog of Books
  34. 34. Thomas Jefferson, Notes on the State of Virginia (1787 edition)
  35. 35. “A Comparative View of the Quadrupeds of Europe and of America.” Notes on the State of Virginia (1781-5)
  36. 36. “Vegetables.” Notes on the State of Virginia (1781-5)
  37. 37. “Birds of Virginia.” Notes on the State of Virginia (1781-5)
  38. 38. A page of Thomas Jefferson’s Farm-book, ca. 1774.
  39. 39. A page of Thomas Jefferson’s Farm-book, ca. 1774.
  40. 40. Thomas Jefferson, “Agreement with James Hemings” (1793)
  41. 41. http://rotunda.upress.virginia.edu /founders/default.xqy?keys=TSJNinfo-search
  42. 42. http://rotunda.upress.virginia.edu /founders/TSJN-01-27-02-0127
  43. 43. David Sparks, “How Congress Uses Twitter” http://www.psmag.com/politics/how-congress-uses-twitter-16338/
  44. 44. TOME: Interactive TOpic Model and MEtadata Visualization Lauren Klein and Jacob Eisenstein, co-PIs Image by Iris Sun
  45. 45. Mark Hansen and Ben Rubin Movable Type
  46. 46. How to tell a new story … … in space: • Where did events take place, or objects originate? • How did people, objects, or ideas circulate? • What is the composition of a place (real or imagined)? Tools • • • • • • Google Maps Geocommons Neatline HyperCities OpenLayers ArcGIS Mitch Fraas, Mapping Books http://mappingbooks.blogspot.com/
  47. 47. How to tell a new story … … over time: • How did an event (or sequence of events) unfold? • How did an idea (or sequence of ideas) develop? • What were the touchpoints of a particular movement? Tools • • • • • Dipity Timeline.js Neatline TimeFlow TimelineSetter David McClure, The Battle of Chancellorsville http://hotchkiss.neatline.org/neatlineexhibits/show/battle-of-chancellorsville/
  48. 48. How to tell a new story … … across networks: • How were people connected? • How did content travel? • Through what pathways were ideas exchanged? Tools • • • • • Circos Gephi Cytoscape NodeXL D3.js Northeastern University NULab, Viral Texts http://www.viraltexts.org/
  49. 49. How to tell a new story … … about language: • How often does a certain word, phrase, or theme appear? • When did a certain word, phrase, or theme become prevalent? • What are the most common themes in an archive? Tools • • • • • • Wordle ManyEyes Google Ngram Viewer Voyant WordSeer MALLET Sarah Lohman, Nutmeg, Mace, Cinnamon, Clove http://www.fourpoundsflour.com/the-gallerydata-visualization-of-a-timeline-of-taste/
  50. 50. How to tell a new story … … through charts: • • • • • • • Visual.ly Piktochart Infogr.am Many Eyes Tableau Public (PC only) Google Fusion Tables D3.js Also, tools for preparing/cleaning data: • • • Microsoft Excel (w/ search/replace) Data Wrangler Google Refine
  51. 51. Visualizing Advocacy https://visualisingadvocacy.org/resources/visualisationtools
  52. 52. A Carefully Selected List of Recommended Tools http://selection.datavisualization.ch/
  53. 53. A Cultural History of Data Visualization; or, The Long Arc of Visual Display Yale University Digital Humanities Working Group February 27, 2014 Lauren F. Klein Georgia Institute of Technology lauren.klein@lmc.gatech.edu

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