Information Visualization MOOC (Indiana University), Part 1

For the past few weeks I have been enrolled in an Information Visualization MOOC through the University of Indiana. This course has focused on the use of the Sci2 Tool for preparing, analyzing and visualizing various kinds of data. The follow four graphs are examples of the kinds of visualizations we’re learning. These are my first attempts using the Sci2 Tool, and as such they are quite basic. However, I think they are illustrative of some of the simplest functionality of the tool and I look forward to continuing to learn through application and practice. Sample Social Network

(click graph for a larger view)

The graph above was the first we created in the course. It is a social network using Sci2’s built-in GUESS visualization suite. This network depicts major Florentine families, their connections (marriage and business ties), their relative wealth, and the number of priorates (seats in government) each family held. The article upon which this data is based can be found here.

What we were emphasizing in this exercise was how to convey multiple kinds of information in a single graph: marriage and business ties (qualitative; nominal) were displayed with edge colour, wealth (quantitative; ratio) was shown by relative size of nodes, and the number of seats (quantitative; interval) were illustrated by brightness of hue (‘greenness’ of node).

Sample Burst Analysis

(click graph for a larger view)

This is a temporal graph using Kleinberg’s burst-detection algorithm which identifies sudden increases in the frequency of words. Here I have graphed words appearing in the titles of the 20% most cited articles in the journal Health Psychology from 1984 to 2013 (the first terms to ‘burst’ are in 1991).

Sample Choropleth Map

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This is a choropleth symbol map which shades portions of the map based on certain numberic values. In the graph above I am depicting the number of patents related to influenza filed by country. The more intense the colour, the more patents (from yellow to red). Similar to the heat map, this is an easy and intuitive way to visualize geospatial data.

Sample Proportional Map

(click graph for a larger view)

This graph shows the amount of money that has been awarded by NSF grants for topics related to ‘pain’  in different states between 1952-2010. The larger the circle, the more money has been awarded. Unlike the choropleth map which can only depict one numerical attribute, I could have visualized multiple attributes with the proportional symbol map (ex: number of grants could have been depicted by the intensity of the colour of the circles).

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