Wielding the Power of Data Visualisation
The rather innocuously titled ‘Visualising helps make sense of data‘ by Teresa Tocewicz crossed my radar this morning. It’s a short, succinct piece that doesn’t raise any contentious ides, instead reinforcing and reminding why and how we approach the visualisation of data in digital humanities scholarship. Online tools have made it easier than ever to present data in compelling visual creations – something that should send shudders and set off warning alarms. Much like the deluge of data, we have an accompanying profusion of infographics that still hold huge authority for the quality of production, but can fall down for the lack of thought and professional consideration of the impact and the ways in which we communicate visually.
She identifies three specific tools that are of specific note:
One of the continuing most useful ‘tools’ to emerge from this ongoing discourse though is the series of tips that emerge from someone that is thinking deeply about the power, authority and far reaching implications of the prolific use of data visualisation in humanities scholarship. I have in the past made much of Tufte’s Visual Display of Quantitative Information (summarised nicely by Mike Pantoliano) and that from Fran Helper (Seven Guiding Principles). Adding to these are ten great single tips, some of which echo these others, but reinforce and remind us of the simple but profound things to keep in mind when playing with visualisation fire.