Successfully reported this slideshow.
We use your LinkedIn profile and activity data to personalize ads and to show you more relevant ads. You can change your ad preferences anytime.

Visualising Knowledge: Why? What? How?

766 views

Published on

  • Be the first to comment

Visualising Knowledge: Why? What? How?

  1. 1. Visualising Knowledge: Why? What? How? Ben O‟Steen
  2. 2. www.bl.uk 2 “Data Visualisation” is a terrible term http://www.theguardian.com/news/datablog/2012/sep/20/women-participation-peace-deals http://www.fastcodesign.com/1672161/infographic-how-people-died-in-the-20th-century
  3. 3. www.bl.uk 3 Why? • Data Visualisation: – the "main goal of data visualization is to communicate information clearly and effectively through graphical means. It doesn‟t mean that data visualization needs to look boring to be functional or extremely sophisticated to look beautiful. Vitaly Friedman (2008) "Data Visualization and Infographics" in: Graphics, Monday Inspiration, January 14th, 2008.
  4. 4. www.bl.uk 4 Why? • Data Visualisation: – the "main goal of data visualization is to communicate information clearly and effectively through graphical means. It doesn‟t mean that data visualization needs to look boring to be functional or extremely sophisticated to look beautiful. Vitaly Friedman (2008) "Data Visualization and Infographics" in: Graphics, Monday Inspiration, January 14th, 2008.
  5. 5. www.bl.uk 5 Where do we want to start then? • Expression of a set of ideas or knowledge in order to share or explore that knowledge, clearly and effectively.
  6. 6. www.bl.uk 6 Where do we want to start then? • Expression of a set of ideas or knowledge in order to share or explore that knowledge, clearly and effectively. • The “language of expression” you choose will direct affect how you are interpreted and by whom.
  7. 7. www.bl.uk 7 Where do we want to start then? • Expression of a set of ideas or knowledge in order to share or explore that knowledge, clearly and effectively. • The “language of expression” you choose will direct affect how you are interpreted and by whom. From http://archives.nypl.org
  8. 8. www.bl.uk 8 Language of Expression? • A „shorthand‟, a shared vocabulary. – Graphical, verbal, contextual or implied.
  9. 9. www.bl.uk 9 Language of Expression? • A „shorthand‟, a shared vocabulary. – Graphical, verbal, contextual or implied. • All expressions have an origin. They are all inventions.
  10. 10. www.bl.uk 10 Language of Expression? • A „shorthand‟, a shared vocabulary. – Graphical, verbal, contextual or implied. • All expressions have an origin. They are all inventions. – Acronyms
  11. 11. www.bl.uk 11 Language of Expression? • A „shorthand‟, a shared vocabulary. – Graphical, verbal, contextual or implied. • All expressions have an origin. They are all inventions. – Acronyms – „0‟ for the concept of zero (976 Persian or 1598 for first English use) and „=„ for equality (1557 by Robert Recorde:)
  12. 12. www.bl.uk 12 Language of Expression? • A „shorthand‟, a shared vocabulary. – Graphical, verbal, contextual or implied. • All expressions have an origin. They are all inventions. – Acronyms – „0‟ for the concept of zero (976AD or 1598 for first English use) and „=„ for equality (1557) – Abstraction of numbers (eg we can use the same word for three fish as for three bales of hay. The concept of „three‟ is abstract.)
  13. 13. www.bl.uk 13 Charts and graphs • Easy to forget that these are all inventions too. Florence Nightingale‟s flower diagrams
  14. 14. www.bl.uk 14 Basic tools of Design • Must read: “The Non-Designer‟s Design Book” • Examples it uses are a little dated, but the core tenets of the book are solid and based on how we interpret information.
  15. 15. www.bl.uk 15 Four main principles of design: • Contrast: – If things are not the same, make them very different • Repetition: – Repeat visual elements to direct attention on the things you want expressed. • Alignment: – Nothing should be placed arbitrarily. Align like concepts on the same lines. • Proximity: – Elements related to one other should be close together.
  16. 16. www.bl.uk 16 Consider the bar chart: • Contrast: – Differ heights, colours and textures
  17. 17. www.bl.uk 17 Consider the bar chart: • Contrast: – Differ heights, colours and textures • Repetition: – „Chart Junk‟ is not helpful. It should be obvious that there is nothing out of the ordinary, apart from the data.
  18. 18. www.bl.uk 18 From http://wtfviz.net/
  19. 19. www.bl.uk 19 Consider the bar chart: • Contrast: – Differ heights, colours and textures • Repetition: – „Chart Junk‟ is not helpful. It should be obvious that there is nothing out of the ordinary, apart from the data. • Alignment: – Make it easy to „read‟ the axes, with regard to the bars by visually alignment. (See last image!)
  20. 20. www.bl.uk 20 Consider the bar chart: • Contrast: – Differ heights, colours and textures • Repetition: – „Chart Junk‟ is not helpful. It should be obvious that there is nothing out of the ordinary, apart from the data. • Alignment: – Make it easy to „read‟ the axes, with regard to the bars by visually alignment. • Proximity: – Do not order the bars randomly along the bottom axis.
  21. 21. www.bl.uk 21 Look at wtfviz.net for „anti-patterns‟ • A staggering list of examples of data visualisations NOT to copy. • wtfviz.net
  22. 22. www.bl.uk 22 You can‟t please everyone! • You will have to rely on your audience having some understanding of the language of expression you choose • The most important things to keep in mind are: – how much they will need to know before they can understand it and – how much effort they are willing to put in to do so. (This part is often overlooked.)
  23. 23. www.bl.uk 23 Non-graphical forms of expression • Titanic: The Artifact Exhibition – Each attendee was given a boarding pass with a passenger‟s name on it. They were told at the end of the experience if they were one of the few who survived.
  24. 24. www.bl.uk 24 Non-graphical forms of expression • Titanic: The Artifact Exhibition – Each attendee was given a boarding pass with a passenger‟s name on it. They were told at the end of the experience if they were one of the few who survived. • Games: – SOS Titanic: aim is to get passengers to lifeboats, and gives you a score which you can compare to the actual event. Time of sinking represented visually. – Tulipmania 1637: A gamified „simulation‟ of the driving forces behind the first huge stock market bubble.
  25. 25. www.bl.uk 25
  26. 26. www.bl.uk 26 A „Classic‟ example
  27. 27. www.bl.uk 27 “The Chromatographic Chronicle of English History…”, 1864
  28. 28. www.bl.uk 28 Exploring unknown data • Example random data Experimental Data
  29. 29. www.bl.uk 29 How to create data visualisations? • It never needs to be „fancy‟ or require a special tool. • The goal is to be “clear and effective” • Sometimes, a small table of figures is all it needs.
  30. 30. www.bl.uk 30 Data Quantisation – turning ideas into numbers • Personal interpretation always plays a part. – Author: choice of metrics, view and perspective. – Audience: “Misinterpretation” and misunderstanding • NB sometimes that misinterpretation is not by accident…
  31. 31. www.bl.uk 31 Data Quantisation – turning ideas into numbers • Personal interpretation always plays a part. – Author: choice of metrics, view and perspective. – Audience: “Misinterpretation” and misunderstanding • NB sometimes that misinterpretation is not by accident…
  32. 32. www.bl.uk 32 Misinterpretation • Round things versus Rectangles – Human beings are generally bad at judging relative sizes of round things, compared to rectangular. – If you want to hinder judgement of relative proportions, represent the data in a pie, conic or circular chart, rather than in a rectangular representation.
  33. 33. www.bl.uk 33 Hidden Subjective Choices • Grouping data together by a subjective, ill-defined or controversial metric. • Hard to spot but crucial to understanding the nature of the data. • Try to be aware of these choices!
  34. 34. www.bl.uk 34
  35. 35. www.bl.uk 35 From: http://iwasnteventhere.tumblr.com/post/7882377942/reply-to-mondrian-vs-rothko-footprints-and-evolution
  36. 36. www.bl.uk 36 Checklist: • Understanding of what information you want to share or explore. • A quantitative measure of that information, in a useful form like a spreadsheet. • Inspiration for how you want to display it! • Create a visualisation and assess how well it fits. – Try and try again!
  37. 37. www.bl.uk 37 Tools and resources • Mia Ridge‟s excellent list of tools, documentation and ideas: – https://chasegoingdigital.wordpress.com/2013/02/19/links-for- data-visualisation-for-humanities-researchers/ • Bamboo DiRT‟s list of visualisation tools: (Big list, not thematically grouped as Mia‟s list is) – http://dirt.projectbamboo.org/categories/visualization • For data visualisation inspiration: – http://d3js.org/ - remember the effort required by your audience!
  38. 38. www.bl.uk 38
  39. 39. www.bl.uk 39
  40. 40. www.bl.uk 40
  41. 41. www.bl.uk 41 Questions?

×