(Talk) Data visualizations: What works and what doesn’t?

One session I’d like to propose is a very general one about visualizing your data.  For those of us who have found or who generate datasets that they’d like to visualize, actually producing effective, informative, and visually compelling arguments through images remains challenging.  Large social network graphs are more often compared to hairballs than something that conveys useful information, for example.  From pie graphs to maps to scatter plots, our methods for visualizing humanities data have remained relatively static.

In the session, I’d be interested in hearing from people about the types of datasets they’re interested in visualizing, the challenges of turning that dataset into a visualization, and their hopes for what they’d like to do if they could visualize their data in a particular way. Such a session, I would hope, would result in a sharing of various tools and methods, as well as a brainstorming of what visualizations we wish we could do if we had the means to do it.

Categories: Visualization |

About Lisa Rhody

Lisa M. Rhody is a research assistant professor at the Roy Rosenzweig Center for History and New Media (RRCHNM) at George Mason University in Fairfax Virginia. She is co-editor of the Journal of Digital Humanities and project manager for the Institute of Museum and Library Services's signature conference WebWise--for gallery, library, archive, and museum professionals interested in developing digitally-inflected projects at their institutions. She regularly contributes to the PressForward Initiative as a consultant for Digital Humanities Now. Her research interests include the tradition of ekphrasis (poetry to, for, and about the visual arts), women's literature, topic modeling, digital humanities, and scholarly communication.

One Response to (Talk) Data visualizations: What works and what doesn’t?

  1. I’m definitely interested in this, and also the other side of the problem: Does the way you construct your data set affect the kind of visualization you can produce?

    I first proposed a session for THATCamp Virginia in late 2010 related to this: virginia2010.thatcamp.org/author/footnotesrising/ — and then revised it slightly for THATCamp AHA in 2012: aha2012.thatcamp.org/author/footnotesrising/. I’m only very slowly getting closer to puzzling through my own ideas about how to work with my own data, so these are still active questions for me.


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