What is Information Visualization?

Information visualization is the graphical representation of technical, often complex data, designed to be understood quickly and easily. Popularly called “infographics,” this type of media is highly valuable in the age of ubiquitous knowledge, and the people who create it are equally desired by organizations seeking to share messages that make an impact. This format is particularly compelling for academic and research libraries as it enables researchers and scientists to present complex findings in ways that are easier to comprehend than raw datasets. A well-designed infographic can illuminate facts buried in the pages of a dense report or text, or interpret a detailed concept, such as an underground transit system, with clarity and simplicity. The modern age is embracing the power of design to engage and inform audiences through infographics, and social media is the vehicle to take them viral, making information more relevant and accessible on a global level. For researchers and students, the study of information visualization covers a number of valuable skills relating to data analysis, design thinking, and contextual, inquiry-based exploration — in addition to the technical capacities required to carry out ideas using creative software.

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(1) How might this technology be relevant to the educational sector you know best?

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  • Infographics can be powerful. They require time and talent to develop. Time and the talent to develop infographics will need to be made available in Extension. Also, marketing is needed so people are aware of these. - ahenneman ahenneman May 8, 2016 Agreed - thurt thurt May 31, 2016

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(2) What themes are missing from the above description that you think are important?

  • We need an easy software solution for this one. I work in accountability and pull the numbers but it takes a professional graphic designer to make the data memorable. - thurt thurt May 31, 2016
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(3) What do you see as the potential impact of this technology on higher education?

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  • More assistance will be needed in targeting the infographics to the relevant audiences. It is not merely an issue of "build it and they will come." - ahenneman ahenneman May 8, 2016 Amen - thurt thurt May 31, 2016

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(4) Do you have or know of a project working in this area?

Please share information about related projects in our Horizon Project Sharing Form.