Reading Response

Peter Hall presents the value of visualization in three different ways: as technology, science and art. What was interesting to me was when he was talking about the science aspect of visualization. He writes about how difficult it can be to explain data across cultural boundaries. For instance, using red in America to symbolize a negative aspect while in Asia, red may symbolize good luck. It was also interesting how in the scientific approach, design is neglected and viewed as “too subjective”, but he then goes on to explain how important it becomes the more complex a dataset.

Quoting Colin Ware, Hall writes, “The data explosion has brought about an aestheticizing of information, to the point that it has become difficult to sort function from creative expression.” I find this statement to be too true, especially in the present day. Too often do I find myself viewing info graphics or other forms of data visualization and wondering what it is that I am actually being told. I think it is important, as a designer, to think about every aspect when visualizing data to ensure the viewer is able to comprehend the information that is given.

The CNN Ecosphere was a digital tool that visualized tweets from the Rio+20 UN conference in Brazil. The tool gathered tweets with the hashtag #RIO20 and compiled them to form a digital tree.

CNN Ecosphere


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