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The third edition of Visualizar is now finished and the projects developed during the workshop can be visited until the 17th of January in the Medialab Prado in Madrid. The exhibition shows the results of the two weeks of work - from 14 to 27 of November - when participants refined concepts, gathered and parsed necessary data and prototyped the visualizations. After this time, outcomes were quite diverse, varying according to the nature of concepts, the available data and number of contributors. Here is an overview. The New Political Interfaces [newpoliticalinterfaces.org] aims to visualize the influence of new means of communication in politics. Inspired by the influence of social networking systems in the Obama campaign, the team looked into content generated by official sources and political parties, in contrast to those generated by individuals in online systems.
I’ve written previously about my concern that infographics—the mixture of text and images to tell stories, explain concepts, describe processes, or provide instructions—have no real research to back up their claims of effectiveness. Visual communication is all the rage today, and rightfully so because it has great potential when used effectively, but much of what’s being sold by expensive consultants simply doesn’t work. This is a travesty; infographics could be used for good if we could only figure out when to use them and how to properly design them.
This London Tube map by Harry Beck used form 1933 is considered a great 'hit' of modern infographics. It meant a big step for visual abstraction and diagrams as part of everyday life. Form then and each day more often, the tube map has become a metaphor to explain any serie of connections. One of the last examples is this one published by Richard Watson which shows a map of trends and predictions for 2010-2050. (Click on it to get the PDF form nowandnext )
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Over the next few years, those early experiences as well as the investigations that followed led me to accumulate a personal library of valued online resources for journalists. These are resources that are now extremely valuable to me. They represent the core of my online research, and they are the places I immediately turn to first when it’s time to conduct another deep investigation for another news article. As the Internet expands, the community of citizen journalists continues to grow. Along with that growth comes a sort of collaborative network where you can excel in your research more from networking than you can from competing.
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