On 4 March, Orland Hoeber came to our Creative Technologies and gave us an in depth look at informational visualization, which is “the communication of abstract information using graphical representation”. Visual data can communicate information to others, which is processed as a whole by the human mind. This lecture really intrigued me because it was interesting to analyze different visual representations of data we encounter everyday. An example that Hoeber showed us was Mendeleev’s Periodic Table of Elements as shown below:
This table or visual representation characterizes elements grouped by common properties and organized in such a way that can be understood by those who use or view the table. The elements also allow the user to interpret properties and categorize elements based on their elemental components.
Being able to interpret information from a visual data uses a higher level of processing allows the reader to interpolate or extrapolate information. Another example that Hoeber showed us was an interactive map of New York City that showed data of coffee shops within and around the city. The user is able to interpret the different coffee shops and which company has more business within a certain radius. The map showed green and yellow dots to represent the brand of coffee. I think this is a great idea for coffee fiends to find their next fix!
Orland Hoeber was able to give us an understanding of the different implications of visual information that can be helpful in a variety of domains. As shown I have demonstrated both the Periodic Table of the Elements as well as the coffee shop world of New York City. This theorist emphasized the importance of representing an abundance of data and how “there is a growing need for tools and techniques to make effective use for this information overload” that we encounter every day. Efficiency and effectiveness are key in visual data or information because you have to be able to communicate this information in such a way that is easy to read and effective to allow users to benefit from the technology.
I think that Google Maps is an example of visualizing information because you can input what you want to know or where you want to go and it will give you an overview of the area and what is around the point of interest.
This link shows the University of Regina and all of the buildings around the campus. When you access the Google Maps website you can become fully interactive with the map. You are able to see a street view to visualize the buildings you are trying to reach as well as being able to see other points of interest if you are a newcomer to the campus.
In contemporary culture, people want to have quick access to references to be able to solve problems in no time. The user is able to interact with visual representations such as Google Maps, to provide some insight and provide interesting features that make the technology easy to use.
Through the variety of guest speakers, artists and theorists and workshops, there was a common theme of how to represent data in a way that is appealing to the user, an interesting discussion point and efficient to problem solving.
Ian Campbell spoke about projection mapping defined by Campbell as, “projection laid on top of a real object”, which projects images onto real or inanimate objects to represent artwork. This connects to Orland Hoeber’s lecture in the way that he discusses visual information and being informative and eye appealing to allow for artists to interact and discuss the artwork. Art oftentimes portrays a theme and Hoeber emphasized the use of visual information to be able to communicate information to others, similarly, Campbell represented art through mapping images onto objects to portray a message to the audience.
This is a video that Ian Campbell showed us in class done by Sony that represents projection mapping and how it can be used to convey an idea.
Information is Beautiful is a website I found that has a wide range of visualized data categorized by different ideas and issues. Check it out!
Informational Visualization is an important feature of Creative Technologies as it can convey a message and provide information to the user in an interactive way that represents important data and information.