See the data, be the data.

Date: Monday 15 April 2024, 6.00PM
Location: Online
Local Group Meeting

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This event, hosted by the RSS Edinburgh Local Group, brings together a collection of speakers around the theme of "See the data, be the data" to discuss the importance of data visualisation when explaining and conveying messaging around human data and the world around us.

This is an online event only.
Monday 15th April, 18:00-19:00

Data visualisation is at the core of being able to explain trends, patterns and artefacts of data sets. When this data is relating to humans and the world around us, it is even more key to ensure that the data visualisation conveys the correct message and does this in an accessible manner. Join the RSS Edinburgh local group for a session named "See the data, be the data", themed around how we can interpret and visualise data in the world around us.

Date: Monday 15th April
Time: 18:00-19:00
Location: Microsoft Teams
Link: Click here to join the meeting.

(MeetingID: 326 566 345 43, Passcode YGYKod)

We will be joined by Ms Sarah Shöttler (The University of Edinburgh), Dr Murrary Dick (Newcastle University) and Dr Uta Hinrichs (The University of Edinburgh).

Ways of thinking about visualization: how novel data visualizations are created
Ms Sarah Schöttler, The University of Edinburgh

Sarah Schöttler is a final year PhD student in data visualization at the University of Edinburgh. In this talk, she is going to discuss different ways of thinking about charts and data visualizations. She is going to share insights on how researchers and practitioners develop custom and novel visualization designs and show examples of unusual visualizations.

Mapping visual metaphors to civic facts: some new(ish) ideas for infographic design
Dr Murray Dick, Newcastle University

Ideas about how people understand infographics are often based on a computational theory of mind, with an emphasis on cognitive and perceptual mechanisms, and an assumption that people are first and foremost, rational actors. But while such theories are helpful in terms of helping us understand those transactional processes involved in comprehension, they provide little explanation for the emotional aspects of visual communication; in terms of what people find appealing (or off-putting), that may inform the effectiveness of infographics, including those concerned with informing opinion-forming on important public matters. Alternatively, by taking an embodied approach to cognition, it is possible to conceive of infographics instead as presenting audiences with a range of visual metaphors that are open to interpretation. These metaphors it is argued, rather than simply reflecting ‘clever’ ideas (in the classical sense of the concept), rather contribute to the structuring of our language and thought, and so in turn may play an important role in the effectiveness of communication via data visualization. Some broad principles for an experimental ‘ecology’ of infographic design will be set out, foregrounding (and applying) theories of cognitive metaphor theory, cognitive design and visual grammar, as well as storytelling and dramaturgical techniques, and conventional, empirically-informed best practice in infographic design. The case study for exploring these ideas will concern how to improve public engagement with civic statistics.

Considering Visualization as a (Thinking) Process​
Dr Uta Hinrichs

Uta Hinrichs is a Reader in Data Visualization at the University of Edinburgh. Her research at the intersection of visualization and HCI is motivated by an urge to understand and facilitate how people engage with information in physical and digital spaces. Visualization has become ubiquitous, and it is being used in both professional and personal contexts to communicate, explore and make decisions based on data. We also see a rapid evolution of tools that support and make accessible the creation of visualizations, regardless of people’s background. While these are very positive developments, they also put an emphasis on the importance of promoting a critical and ethical engagement with visualizations and the data, voices, and structures that are represented (and sometimes omitted). In this talk, she will outline critical perspectives on data visualization and illustrate ways of encouraging critical thinking through visualization by emphasizing visualization as a dynamic process, rather than a static outcome.

Ms Sarah Schöttler, The University of Edinburgh
Dr Murray Dick, Newcastle University
Dr Uta Hinrichs, The University of Edinburgh
Chris Oldnall RSS Edinburgh Local Group Secretary