reading 4: interpreting visualization and visualizing interpretation

I’m intrigued by the overall premise of this chapter. If I understand it correctly, in order to properly create visualizations, we need to understand how they are interpreted. The relationship between the two is critical and often overlooked as the ability to make visualizations becomes easier and quicker with more advanced tools. In order to comprehend the connection between creating and interpreting, we need to trace the origins of these base formats, understanding the communities they were and are created in and for what purposes. Simply said, we need to understand where we’ve been to know where we’re going next.

During timekeeping section, I thought the discussion of time in terms of the empirical sciences and the humanities, with the former seeing it as continuous/unidirectional and the latter seeing it as discontinued/multi-directional, intriguing. I found it interesting that even an idea as concrete as time can prompt different interpretations by different communities.

I thought the section on record-keeping was an interesting discussion, especially in relation to the idea of data collection bleeding its way into visualization, linked by the representation of the two. The methods behind data collection and the eventual structure its stored in play a role into the forthcoming visualization.

I tried applying the discussion of trees of knowledge to my project idea about visualizing the British Royal Family. I still haven’t pinpointed it, but I want to conjure a different way to visualize a family tree since it feels so archaic—and maybe the way to do that it to think about how a tree structure is interpreted.

I’m curious if the class agrees with Ducker’s assertion that addition and division problems are knowledge generators, and if the separation between knowledge generators and dynamic systems are as clear cut. Also, how do these humanistic ideas changes when thought about in the empirical science, similar to the exercise of comparing the concept of time between the two?

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