How many types of visualizations?

I spend a lot of time reading blogs about data visualization (probably too much, which is why I haven’t been contributing any longer posts to this blog!). My favorite is Nathan Yau’s FlowingData. A few days ago he published a link to an article from ACM (the Association for Computing Machinery — a wonderfully anachronistic handle) called Interactive Dynamics for Visual Analysis. The authors write, “The goal of this article is to assist designers, researchers, professional analysts, procurement officers, educators, and students in evaluating and creating visual analysis tools. We present a taxonomy of interactive dynamics that contribute to successful analytic dialogues.” I don’t understand all of the technical details, but the taxonomy is certainly relevant to our discussion about visualizing the past. Plus, I like the idea of visualization as one mode of “data-wrangling” — i.e., another tool for historians to use to make sense of an incomplete historical record with too many data points.

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About philkatz

I am assistant director for research at the American Association of Museums. One of my jobs there is to track and analyze trends for the Center for the Future of Museums. I'm a historian by training (original area of focus: Civil War and Reconstruction, with a special interest in trans-Atlantic interactions during the era), but have spent most of my career as an administrator and researcher for public humanities and higher ed organizations.

One thought on “How many types of visualizations?

  1. Thanks for sharing this. I found it to be a great read, if only for the various examples of different tools. I feel like I need a bit more time to digest the 12 pieces of their taxonomy but I can say that up front what they are suggesting feels like it fits very well with how I am increasingly thinking about Viewshare.

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