Week 8_Information Visualisation

Week 8_Information Visualisation

In nowadays, huge amounts of information are spreading outside to the world.  They bombard us with information every minute.
But who wants to sit and read long articles with text-based content?
A lot of us, even if we are interested to learn new things, reading a text-based content, at some point we might get bored.

And here is where Data visualization comes in order to give to these articles a stimulating form.

What is data visualization?
Data visualization is a way to present information in a pictorial or graphical format.
Visual representations are easier to be understood by people. The reason is because the human brain uses a tactic to process the information that are given to us, which that make us to be able to understand easier and absorb faster the information that are given to us in the form of a visual representation.
Articles that are presenting their data in a visual form, for example in charts and graphs would be understood by the public faster and will get the meaning of the data that is present faster that if they were going to read a text-based document.

Below you will find a video that is part of the UBC Learning Commons and is a three-minute tutorial that will introduce you to the concepts of data visualization, provide examples of how it is done, and show you some online tools to get you started:

Moreover, there are some basic things that you must consider when you want to create a visual to display a data.

  1. At first you must to make sure that you have understood deeply the information that has been given to you to visualize.
  2. Then make clear what kind of data is that you want to communicate.
  3. You must know who will you audience will be and understand how the specific audience process visual data.
  4. Last, make sure that you use a simple and understandable form for your audience to realize what this information that is provided from your visual representation.

BAD AND GOOD EXAMPLES OF DATA VISUALISATION
In my opinion a good example of data visualization is the Interactive timeline that was created by The Guardian. As Benjamin Wiederkehr has mentioned in his article this interactive timeline shows the most important incidents and how they spread over the different neighborhoods. The user can scroll through a 3D timeline and watch how the riots unfolded. Every event is marked and linked to the belonging article.

 Untitledinterctive timeline Untitledinterctive timeline2

I believe that this is a good example because the information that are presented to the viewer are clear and beautiful net. It is an interesting way to capture the attention of a person.
The only text that appears is just to explain to the user a few important things. Moreover, the user can find easily the information that may interest him and the most important thing is that is not misrepresenting what the data have to say.

On the other hand, a visual representation that was published in the webpage of “The Economist”, in my opinion, failed to deliver the data that it meant to deliver to the audience. By taking a glance at the images below you cannot understand the information that this visual representation wants to deliver.  The reason is because there is no title or any key in order to explain to the user its purpose.

interactive ineffective interactive ineffective2

Moving on you can find a link that it will take you to a page where you can see 50 good examples of Date visualization:

http://www.webdesignerdepot.com/2009/06/50-great-examples-of-data-visualization/

References:

http://www.sas.com/en_us/insights/big-data/data-visualization.html

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/magazine/8381597.stm

http://datavisualization.ch/

Illustrations:
http://www.visualcomplexity.com/vc/project_details.cfm?id=761&index=761&domain=

http://datavisualization.ch/showcases/riots-in-england/

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