Visualisations abound in our everyday lives. Over the past decade, however, there has been an unprecedented rate of innovation in computational imaging and visualising techniques to render physical and non-physical data in visual form. The emergence of the Internet-as-database, with complex and massive quantities of data mined from online social and spatial processes given visual form, has gone hand-in-hand with these advances. We must ask, therefore, what specific changes accompany such a demotic technology, and whether, for instance, computerised imagery is poised to transform science and society as thoroughly as the printing press and engraving techniques changed image reproduction or Benjamin’s photographs altered art’s aura.
In this presentation, Tim Webmoor surveys the factors giving rise to web-based visualisations, the variety and quality of these tools for social research, and discusses the sourcing of data with an online infrastructure that ought to keep visualisations out of the black box.
View the presentation: Web-based visualization