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Shaping the Unseen - Behind the Scenes of Data Visualization

Transformation processes between machine-readable data and information that can be readily understood by human readers are the lifeblood of the digital humanities. While methodological discussions often revolve around the question how to make human-made sources machine-readable, the reverse process – turning (numerical) data and the outcomes of digital analyses back into a form that is intelligible to human beings – is just as important.

When it comes to representing information and transforming numbers, concepts or relationships into a human-readable form, the graphic or multimedia visualisation of data can be an effective alternative (or addition) to linear text. With the development of more and more sophisticated digital methods, data visualisation has come a long way since pie charts and line graphs.

The graphic representations that “Data Experience Designer” Jan Willem Tulp (NL) creates both for print and for interactive digital environments showcase the scope of data visualisation and speak to the potential that novel ways of representation hold as a means of elucidating complex data sets. In his lecture, Jan Willem Tulp will give insights into his work and use various examples to illustrate in what ways a data visualisation designer has influence on the final outcome. Three main areas of design decisions will be shown. A behind the scene look of the various stages of a project will give a clear view of the iterative and exploratory approach to designing data visualisations.

Learning Outcomes

After viewing this video lecture, you should:

  • Identify the components of a data visualisation project
  • Distinguishing visualisation types
  • Understanding the visualisation workflow and conceptual decisions behind a visualisation

Cite as

Jan Willem Tulp (2018). Shaping the Unseen - Behind the Scenes of Data Visualization. Version 1.0.0. Edited by Laura Still and Florian Wiencek. Austrian Centre for Digital Humanities and Cultural Heritage (ACDH-CH). [Video].

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Full metadata

Shaping the Unseen - Behind the Scenes of Data Visualization
Jan Willem Tulp
Social Sciences and Humanities
Content type:
CCBY 4.0
Data visualisation