Building the Infrastructural Layer: Reading Data Visualization in the Digital Humanities

Abstract (in English): 

Information visualization is a technique for organizing, representing, and interpreting information visually. Information visualizations can take the form of hand-drawn diagrams, popular “infographics,” or interactive, computer-based visualizations. We see examples of information visualizations produced and displayed in myriad contexts, including: the scientific modeling of the Higgs boson particle, the NY Times 2012 presidential election coverage, the popular infographics exhibited at, corporate PowerPoint presentations, public web galleries like Nathan Yau’s Flowing Data or Manuel Lima’s Visual Complexity, Google’s Ngram Viewer, and finally, in humanities research and pedagogy. Examples in the digital humanities include the Stanford Literary Lab’s use of the Gephi visualization platform to map its own academic community, the Software Studies Initiative’s visualization of thousands of cultural media objects like magazines, manga pages, and paintings, as well as Alan Liu’s Research-oriented Social Environment (RoSE) project that incorporates visualization tools directly into the research process. Information visualization possesses its own network of national and international conferences and conventions, design exhibitions, workshops, courses, and university degree programs. High-level computer programming languages, including Processing, R, and Python, have been, and continue to be, developed for the purpose of producing visualizations. It is a powerful technology and methodology positioned at the intersection of a number of contemporary humanities debates and disciplinary transformations, especially the recent trend toward large data analysis, cultural analytics, and other quantitative methods.

(Source: First para of author's text)

The permanent URL of this page: 
Record posted by: 
Scott Rettberg