Massachusetts Institute of Technology
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Qualitative, Metaphor-based Frameworks for Information Visualization

Speaker: Jonathon Cousins. Moderator: Nick Seaver, MIT. Abstract: The presentation is a walk through of the design and development process behind a visualization recently created for the World Economic Forum Summit in Dubai.  The aim of the presentation is to demonstrate how information visualization designs can benefit from a qualitative, metaphor-based framework to display raw data. The hope is that this will encourage researchers in the humanities to explore all aspects of their professional experience as visualization resources. The walk thru begins with a brief demonstration of how the Dubai visualization works. That is followed by an explanation of how and why the design is based on non-statistical, domain-specific knowledge. In brief, the presenters argue the benefits of flowing typical data sets (in this case statistical and social network data) through contextual visual mechanisms, models that reflect aspects of the practical, philosophical and theoretical underpinnings of research to enrich the visualization narrative. Such information is often taken for granted by practitioners of any discipline and it is therefore often overlooked as a source of visualization assets. The presentation concludes with a handful of informal proposals of how such a process could be applied to visualize various research topics in the humanities. For example: the Council of Trent, the character relationships in John Gay's The Beggar's Opera, and the social network behind Winston Churchill's war cabinet. The visualization was created by Jonathan Cousins and Nick Sears. It can be viewed at this link (if you are asked to "allow" after loading into your browser, please do. it's harmless.): http://jonathancousins.com/SEED/wef4/"

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July 14, 2010 12:56
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