Reading this combination of articles made me consider the very nature of the data that we attempt to visualize. In her writings Drucker draws attention to the difference between data and information. Data is the raw product of statistical analysis whereas interpretation(more commonly used within the realm of the humanities) has inherently undergone a process of interpretation (Drucker, 10). Can we therefore use the same visualization methods used in the sciences for the humanities?
It was also made clear that we must understand exactly what we are visualizing and why we are visualizing it. By doing this from the beginning we are more equipped to present data/information to audiences in a meaningful way. And as Stafford says it is our responsibility to ensure that the public have the tools to understand our visualizations (Stafford, 462). A possible method for accomplishing this, as Yau suggests, is to approach each visualization as a story, one that must have a narrative (Yau, 35).
By looking at the forms graphical representations have taken in the past Drucker highlights the array of techniques that can and have been used ( Drucker, 21), and points towards an abundance of possibilities in the future. The availability of free open source software has increased the use of visualization in the humanities and places the responsibility of ensuring that it is correct, effective and useful firmly on the visualizers shoulders.
The Ben Jonson project is an example of a initiative that placed digital at its centre from the outset. In 2009 the journal of poet and dramatist Ben Jonson was discovered in the Cheshire Archives. It recorded his 400 mile walk from London to Edinburgh. The University of Nottingham and the University of Edinburgh collaborated in creating an interactive project to bring this insight into 17th Century life to the public. They created a WordPress blog and tweeted his journey in real time, linking to photographs of his whereabouts and typed excerpts from his journal. This is a successful endeavor, but I wonder how visualization (in addition to the interactive map) could assist in achieving their objective.