As digital information becomes part of our cultural fabric, information visualization offers new perspectives on large data sets and interactive methods to navigate complex information spaces. In order to stimulate a discussion about the potential of visualization, the public lecture series on information+visualization brings together renowned practitioners and researchers of the growing field of information visualization.

Während digitale Informationen Teil unseres kulturellen Gefüges werden, verspricht Informationsvisualisierung neue Perspektiven auf große Datensätze und interaktive Methoden zur Navigation. Um eine Diskussion über das Potenzial von Informationsvisualisierung anzuregen, bringt die Vortragsreihe information+visualization renommierte ForscherInnen und PraktikerInnen dieses wachsenden Feldes zusammen.

Organized by information visualization researchers at Fachhochschule Potsdam - University of Applied Sciences

23 Nov 2021
Building Equitable Social Computing and Visualization Tools for Democratizing Public Participation
Narges Mahyar, University of Massachusetts Amherst

Public participation is a pillar of a functioning democracy. Much of the recent work in utilizing technology for facilitating public participation has been focused on broadening access and data collection from the public. However, these technologies still face several challenges in democratizing public participation, especially for marginalized populations, and integrating data analysis into civic decision-making processes. In this talk, I present examples of my recent work using social computing and visualization technologies to democratize public participation. I describe a vision for expanding my research on building novel tools towards advanced stages of the decision-making process, such as collaborative sensemaking of complex civic data and consensus-building.

16 Nov 2021
What we learn through designing visualizations
Miriah Meyer, Linköping University

Each process of designing of a visualization is an opportunity to learn new things about how visualizations and data impact people and the world we live in. In this talk I’ll discuss a specific research-based approach to designing visualizations — design study — and present a variety of insights that have emerged within my research group when we conduct them. These insights range from the role of personal knowledge in data analysis to the need for collaborative systems that enable data-supported insights by more people. These insights hint at the need for radically different ways of describing and studying how visualizations work in the world.

12 Aug 2021
Visualization Empowerment
Benjamin Bach, Design Informatics, University of Edinburgh

This talk discusses visualization as both a tool and a learning process. Motivated by the increasing availability of tools to design and produce visualizations, we need a structured approach to teaching the good use of visualizations; provide learning material, design visualization activities, build easier tools, reach out to audiences, etc. The talk overviews projects from the Edinburgh VisHub about data exploration, communication, and aims to open the discussion around skills and education in visualization as well as how we can reflect on our visualization design practices.

01 Jul 2021
Modern Interaction for Visual Analytics
Christian Tominski, Visual Analytics Group, University of Rostock

The core idea of visual analytics is to support humans in exploring and analyzing data with a combination of visual, interactive, and computational methods. In this talk, I will focus on the interaction-side of visual analytics. While visualization methods allow us to see things that are otherwise invisible, interaction techniques allow us to do things that would otherwise not be possible. Three key topics will be discussed: (1) the exploration, (2) the adjustment, and (3) the comparison of data and their visual representations. I will showcase modern ways of interacting, including interactive lenses, naturally-inspired interaction, tangible interaction, and proxemic interaction.

4 Jun 2020
Visualising cultural heritage collections: Is the data enough?
Olivia Vane, The British Library

As libraries, museums and archives digitise their physical holdings—converting texts, objects, and artworks to digital records—the volume of cultural heritage data grows. Creating visualisations of these datasets allows us to see an overview of collections, observe patterns within them, and showcase their richness. Through visualising data by time, we may discover and convey historical narratives. This talk will explore what we can expect from visualising cultural data, walking through a series of timeline visualisation projects with different cultural heritage institutions. What factors govern what we can build and what interpretations we can make? How does incompleteness of the data play a role? Can we trust what we see? And is the data alone enough to tell the stories that people wish to tell?

12 Nov 2019
Ethical Visualization: A Strategy for Dark Times
Katherine Hepworth, The Reynolds School, University of Nevada

In this presentation, Dr Hepworth situates data visualization within the current global climate of political fracturing and growing mistrust in expert knowledge. As humanitarian and climate crises accelerate and are met with increasing polarization and a proliferation of misinformation, the need for reliable, trustworthy information grows. It introduces the Ethical Visualization Workflow as a means for information designers to contribute to combatting intolerance and mistrust in expert knowledge.

29 Oct 2019
Empowering Journalism: Using sensors, data and visualization to provide citizens with actionable insights on urban spaces
Hendrik Lehmann, Tagesspiegel Innovation Lab

With cities increasingly being covered by „a new skin of data“ as Nigel Thrift (2014) calls it, urban space, human body and flows of data are already radically interwoven. At the Tagesspiegel Innovation Lab we believe that this new historical condition requires a new kind of journalism. And with more people living in cities every year, we think that this will necessarily be a „Urban Journalism“. This journalism uses data about the city and it’s citizens to visualize daily life just as well as social and technological structures like poverty, climate change, property ownership, cellphone coverage land use or the bias of infrastructure towards certain vehicles. Going further, we recently also started to put a lot of effort into not just analyzing and visualizing existing data, but also collecting new data on urban life through building our own technologies. A potential only starting to be recognized in the wider community of journalists and social scientists.

22 Oct 2019
Raising the Bar (Chart): Enriching Visualization Tools with Design Knowledge
Jeffrey Heer, University of Washington

Interactive visualization is a popular medium for data analysis and communication that allows people to engage with data. The goal of the Vega project is to advance both visualization theory and tooling through higher-level languages that (1) simplify the creation of interactive visualizations and (2) support new applications for improved exploratory data analysis. This goal has led us to develop not a single system, but rather a stack of technologies for interactive visualization. In this talk I will first discuss the design of Vega-Lite, a high-level declarative language for rapid specification of interactive visualizations. Vega-Lite provides a convenient yet powerful format for adding visualization capabilities to other programming languages and reasoning about visualization designs. Building on Vega-Lite, Draco is a system that combines logic programming and machine learning techniques to represent design knowledge and reason about visualization design decisions. I will share examples of applications ranging from chart recommender engines to novel visualization APIs, and conclude with our ongoing work on visualization systems that both learn and leverage design knowledge.

14 June 2017
Textanalyse und Visualisierung
Evelyn Gius, Universität Hamburg

Der Einzug der digitalen Methoden in die Literaturwissenschaft hat einen starken Einfluss auf Verfahren zur Analyse und Interpretation von Texten. Unter anderem wird durch die digitalen Verfahren die Visualisierung der Arbeitsprozesse und ihrer Ergebnisse zu einem konstitutiven Element in einer Disziplin, die sich selbst bislang primär als Textwissenschaft und damit als wenig visuell verstanden hat. Im Vortrag wird gezeigt werden, wie Texte computergestützt analysiert werden (können) und wo sich der digitale Zugang vom traditionellen Zugang entfernt. Gleichzeitig soll damit die im digitalen Zugang zentrale Rolle von Visualisierung beispielhaft verdeutlicht werden. Im Zentrum der Überlegungen stehen entsprechend Fragen zum Verhältnis zwischen literaturwissenschaftlicher Textanalyse und Visualisierung: Wie wird digitale Textanalyse bereits visuell unterstützt? Welche neuen Bedarfe entstehen durch die neuen Zugänge? Wie können fachlich geeignete Lösungen für diese entwickelt werden?

11 May 2017
Dialogues with Data
Matthew Battles, Jessica Yurkofsky & Sarah Newman, metaLAB at Harvard

As scholars and curators turn to technological means for exploring the collections of libraries, archives, and museums, they increasingly turn to data visualization to express relations and facilitate search and discovery. At the same time, such institutions also offer ready typologies for encountering, interacting with, and discovering texts and objects. The gallery, the reading room, the performance space—to name just three—offer not only spaces, but a rich array of social forms and experiences. How can data visualization be brought into dialogue with the senses; with interaction, with civic engagement? Taking a series of recent projects as cases, we'll discuss how metaLAB explores data-driven creative works that are critical, multisensory, and grounded in dialogic encounter.

26 April 2017
White Cube, Black Box, PolyCube: Reframing Cultural Objects and Actors
Florian Windhager, Danube University Krems

In recent times, cultural object collections often find themselves in a somewhat unexpected and unlucky position, where they descended from presentations in white cubes - as the modern standard spaces to exhibit art objects - into the black boxes of digital databases. While search-centric interfaces to such collections commonly allow experts to quickly access any selection, they also frequently keep the cultural riches hidden from casual visitors, due to their lack of knowledge what to look for. We outline the PolyCube framework as a recent attempt to develop a more generous interface, which supports the distant and close contemplation of object collections for expert and casual users alike. By the means of multiple linked space-time cubes it offers a combination of vistas into collections, while also mediating the use and understanding of different temporal data visualization methods. An outlook will be dedicated to the potential of such a versatile visualization framework to support and amplify numerous further macrocognitive reasoning operations with data of objects, actors and networks in digital humanities and social science realms.

12 July 2016
Data Wrangling: Enabling Successful Analytics and Machine Learning
Lars Grammel, Trifacta

Data wrangling activities can take up between 60% and 80% of the time spent in analytics and machine learning projects and is crucial for their success. In this talk, the different data wrangling activities such as data discovery, structuring, cleaning, enriching and validating are examined, challenges are highlighted, and combinations of intelligent algorithms and user interfaces to speed up data wrangling are explored.

13 June 2016
Dimensions of Visualization for the Humanities
Johanna Drucker, UCLA

As digital humanities projects engage with large scale data and analytic tools, they have become increasingly dependent on visualization tools to assist in making the queries and assessments of these approaches legible. Most of the graphical properties of these visualizations bear the imprint of the fields within which they were invented—social and natural sciences, administration, business, and other empirically-driven disciplines. Are these visualizations adequate for humanistic purposes? Or are the basic tenets of humanist epistemology, grounded in interpretative approaches and hermeneutic methods, at odds with those based on empiricism? If so, then what additional dimensions—literal and conceptual—might be added to the graphical expressions for a domain specific approach to visualization in and for the humanities?

2 May 2016
The Final Cut
Bob Corish & David Sweeney, Microsoft Research

Exploring how data visualisation influences our understanding of complex systems and behaviours

The human attention span is a finite resource. A successful data visualisation communicates its message clearly and succinctly, but is also one that provokes the curiosity within the viewer, potentially driving them towards further enquiry. It’s a challenging balancing act for a designer - to maximise the accessibility of their design while providing enough material for the viewer to explore and interpret the data on their own. To achieve this, a designer can play around with the design language of their composition, but they can also exploit the form and the qualities of the medium it is presented on. In this talk we will discuss the various roles that data visualisation holds within our lab - a tool that increasingly is used to unveil insights, not just in a purely scientific context, but a social one too. It is a medium we use to communicate amongst ourselves, it can reveal the patterns and textures that both unites and distinguishes us from each other. As artificial intelligence and machine learning systems extend their reach and exert greater influence in our technological lives, we are exploring the opportunities that data visualisation affords to aid our comprehension of these complex systems - instead of the machine completely replacing us and our decision processes, a paradigm of collaborating with the algorithm can be supported through well-designed visualisations.

28 April 2016
Storys aus Daten
Christina Elmer, SPIEGEL ONLINE

Für Journalisten sind große Datensätze zugleich Fundgrube und Werkstoff: In ihnen lassen sich exklusive Geschichten finden, die erst in der Abstraktion sichtbar werden. Zugleich dienen Daten dem Storytelling – als einfache Grafiken oder interaktive, nicht selten opulente Visualisierungen. Welche datenjournalistischen Projekte sind in einem aktuellen Medium möglich? Und wann gelingen Experimente mit ungewöhnlichen Formaten? Christina Elmer, Leiterin des Datenjournalismus-Teams von SPIEGEL ONLINE, gibt Einblicke in die Arbeit zwischen Tabellen und tanzenden Säulen, Kreisen und Kreativität.

8 July 2015
Mapping the Ancient World Space
Elton Barker, Open University, UK

The past decade has seen a growing spatialisation of literary studies, closely connected with the development of new geographical technologies, such as GIS, and their application to the humanities. For example, Antiquity Á la Carte allows users to investigate the historical, cultural and geographical data produced by the Ancient World Mapping Center. Yet there is a problem with GIS applications, when applied to research into ancient geography. On the one hand, they present a pre-determined vision of the world, based on Cartesian principles and contemporary modes of thinking, into which users “plug in” data from antiquity. On the other, GIS, as a point-based geometrical package, is particularly poorly equipped to deal with the predominant primary source that preserve ancient conceptualisations of space—texts. In two presentations at Potsdam University of Applied Sciences, Elton will outline the ongoing efforts of two Digital Classics projects to use mapping visualisations as the means of interrogating and disrupting our understanding of ancient world space: the Hestia project, which investigates the ways in which geographic space is organised and represented in Herodotus’s Histories; and Pelagios, which uses and develops the principles of Linked Open Data to facilitate the construction of (potentially) bottomless maps.

3 June 2015
Social Public Visualization: Confronting the Public with Citizen Data
Nina Valkanova, CIID Research, Copenhagen

Can citizen-driven, public data visualization become a tool to support social and civic purposes in public spaces? The ability to measure, monitor and track our everyday dealings has turned into true capital for an increasing number of urban stakeholders - from ‘smart-city-in-a-box’ corporate solutions to bottom-up structures and individuals that advocate engagement through DIY hacktivism. Yet, how citizen data, and the ubiquitous technologies able to acquire and display it in the urban sphere, can be of true value to its the ‘normal’ citizens, is still an underexplored question. In her research, Nina Valkanova argues that combining data visualization as means to represent citizen-driven data in attractive and insightful ways, with ubiquitous technologies for sensing, displaying and interacting, could potentially make us more informed and engaged citizens. In this talk she will show some of her research projects that explore how visualization interfaces, situated in public spaces can increase both personal reflection and social awareness and discourse; and can influence participation and a range of social interactions.

6 May 2015
Designing Scholarly (Data) Visualization Tools
Paolo Ciuccarelli, DensityDesign, Milan

The introduction of data based tools and digital born data in several disciplines generated new branches - such as Digital Humanities or Computational Sociology - allowing the improvement of current methods of inquiry and - more interestingly - radically changing their epistemological boundaries. We’re in the middle of a genetic mutation that will likely result in a regeneration of the disciplinary species. The role of visualization as a scholarly tool is therefore renewed and amplified. The sciences have always relied upon processes of data acquisition, organization, and formalization based on visual languages. What’s amplifying and renewing the meaning and role of visualization tools today is a change in the state of scientific data, now digitized, and—even more important—the abundance of born-digital data, such as post-demographic data in sociology or linked data in the humanities, that are changing the nature of the inquiry process and also the relationships with the public(s).

4 February 2015
Uncertainty Visualization - Status Quo Vadis?
Christoph Kinkeldey, Hafen City University, Hamburg

Data uncertainty is ubiquitous in most application fields, especially when we use data from heterogeneous sources that can be error-prone, incomplete, ambiguous etc. Instead of ignoring uncertainty when analyzing data, visualization can help communicate data uncertainty to the user. For this purpose, a wide range of visualization techniques have been developed in the fields of information visualization, geovisualization, and scientific visualization. Christoph Kinkeldey provides an overview on state-of-the-art uncertainty visualization techniques and discusses lessons learned from past research as well as current challenges in the field.

3 December 2014
Bildpolitiken der Klimavisualisierung aus bild- und medienwissenschaftlicher Sicht
Birgit Schneider, Universität Potsdam

Die wissenschaftliche Forschung zum Klimawandel hat eine Vielfalt an Bildern hervorgebracht. Diese reichen von farbigen Expertengrafiken, der Visualisierung von Klimamodellen bis hin zu animierten und interaktiven Grafiken. Manche der Grafiken haben sogar, nicht zuletzt durch die Berichte des Weltklimarats, einen ikonischen Status erreicht. Die Bilder haben begonnen die generelle Wahrnehmung globaler Wetterereignisse zu prägen. Dabei ist die Rolle von Klimabildern insbesondere deshalb zentral, weil der globale Klimawandel als Langzeitprozess nicht direkt erfahren werden kann. Es braucht also Bilder, um den Klimawandel evident zu machen. In ihrem Vortrag wird die Bild- und Medienwissenschaftlerin Birgit Schneider Teile ihrer Forschungen zu aktuellen Klimavisualisierungen hinsichtlich der folgenden Fragen präsentieren: Was geschieht, wenn wissenschaftliche Bilder in gesellschaftliche und politische Kontexte kommuniziert werden? Welche Rhetorik besitzen insbesondere Farben in den Klimawissenschaften? Inwiefern sind Kartografie und Infografik immer auch ideologisch? Dabei wird sie die wissenschaftlichen Bilder hinsichtlich der Frage analysieren, was andere Bildsprachen alternativ zur Wissenschaft ermöglichen um Fragen des Klimawandels an die Gesellschaft zu vermitteln.

5 November 2014
Making Sense of Context in Corpus Linguistics
Dawn Knight, Newcastle University, UK

Contextual ‘meta-data’ in applied linguistics and corpus linguistics, has been largely static, and sociolinguists often discuss the need to consider more carefully the extent to which text-external elements are invoked in our interpretation of language in use. Drawing on recent developments in corpus linguistics, this presentation takes a more delicate and fine-grained approach to the description of the relationship between language and context, through its representation in (meta)data. In her talk, Dawn Knight questions the status of the ‘meta’ in metadata and provides some reflections on capturing, classifying, representing, and querying corpora from omnidirectional perspectives using mobile technologies, biometric sensors, and visualization techniques.

1 October 2014
Visualizing Energy Consumption Across Scale and Space
Sarah Goodwin, City University London

Can multivariate data be compared across multiple dimensions of scale and geography? Sarah Goodwin presents a theoretical framework and prototype visualization designs for multivariate data comparison. Specializing in the analysis of spatial data and geovisualization, Sarah's research investigates the classification of variables for energy consumer profiling. In this talk she will show some of her work investigating geodemographics with energy consumption characteristics and prototype designs for smart home data analysis for energy companies.

3 September 2014
Animations in Visualization
Fanny Chevalier, INRIA

Smooth animated transitions, where a graphic display changes continuously in time, are more appealing than still images, feel more realistic, and improve the aesthetics of interfaces. Beyond their compelling nature, animations are powerful tools that can aid better understand the time-varying behaviour of an interface by fluidly transitioning between visual states. We will discuss new uses and challenges in the design of animation for visualization.

6 August 2014
Generous Interfaces:
Visualising Cultural Collections

Mitchell Whitelaw, University of Canberra

Museums, galleries, libraries and archives around the world are rapidly digitising their collections, turning cultural heritage into mountains of data. To realise the value of this material we need new forms of representation, beyond the limits of the search box. This talk presents our experiments in “generous interfaces”: rich, navigable overviews and exploratory browsers for large cultural collections.

Politik der (un)sichtbaren Stadt
2 July 2014, 7 pm
Politik der (un)sichtbaren Stadt
Anne-Katrin Fenk, MOD Institute &
Gesa Königstein, TU Berlin

Urbanisierungsprozesse sind komplex. Finden sie zudem noch in einem anderen Kulturraum statt, so wird dies aufgrund kultureller Einschreibungen noch verstärkt. Auf der Suche nach einer Antwort auf die Frage – Was ist Stadt? – werden vermehrt Kartierungs-, Simulations- und Modellierungsmethodiken aufgerufen. Weniger scharf jedoch ist der Diskurs zur Politik jener Daten und die Frage, wie viel Sichtbarkeit eine Stadt verträgt. Ein Exkurs zur Indischen Stadt und Berlin.

4 June 2014
Visualising the Anthropocene
Owen Gaffney, International Geosphere-Biosphere Programme

In a single lifetime humanity has grown into a phenomenal global force. A growing number of scientists say we have entered the Anthropocene - a new geological epoch dominated by humanity. But many of the processes and changes are invisible to us. Can data visualisation make the invisible visible? And can it help change world views. Owen Gaffney is a pioneer in visualising the Anthropocene. He will discuss how visualisation is one of the essential tools to help us make sense of the world we now inhabit.

7 May 2014
Ambiguous Interfaces
Tom Schofield, Newcastle University, UK

Previous accounts have problematised archival interfaces for being too driven by paradigms of filtering and search, for being ungenerous with the content, or for implicitly embodying and indeed iteratively reifying particular kinds of knowledge. There is consequently an opportunity for archival interfaces which adopt rhetorical positions, are dialogical with users, embody critique, or use ambiguity as a tool with which to allow new kinds of engagement with archival items.

2 April 2014
Schlauer werden aus Daten
Julia Kloiber, OKFN & Michael Hörz

Mehr Daten für alle! Dieses Versprechen löst eine Reihe von Verwaltungen in Deutschland ein. Ihre Vorbilder haben sie in den USA und Großbritannien, die im großen Stil nicht-persönliche Daten freigegeben haben. Bürger, Wirtschaft und Medien können diese Daten nutzen, was Julia Kloiber von der Open Knowledge Foundation Deutschland und der Datenjournalist Michael Hörz zeigen werden.

Urban Complexity Lab
Fachhochschule Potsdam