What is the future of information visualization

Information visualization in technical editing


List of figures

1 Introduction

2 definition
2.1 Institution
2.2 Technical editing
2.3 Code, medium and mass media
2.4 Function vs. Dysfunction
2.5 Terror Management
2.6 Sustainability vs. future viability

3 observation
3.1 Classification of the topic in the research area
3.1.1 Scientific Visualization
3.1.2 IV (Information Visualization)
3.2 Data models of the visualization
3.2.1 One-dimensional data structure
3.2.2 Multi-dimensional data structure
3.3 IV in the TR
3.3.1 Text vs. image
3.3.2 Target group

4 hypothesis

5 Functional Analysis
5.1 Disadvantages of using infographics
5.2 Benefits of Using Infographics

6 Outlook

7 Application and verification

8 Summary and Conclusion


List of figures

Fig .: 1 Overview of the research field of visualization (see Däßler et al., 1998, p. 42)

Fig .: 2 Example of an infographic: How much water do we use? (zeit.de, 2009)

1 Introduction

How often do we nowadays encounter infographics in the vastness of the Internet in order to present information in a suitable manner. Due to the incessant flood of information of today, the manuals, online documentation or operating instructions must also stand out from the other information sources in order to be read at all.

With this in mind, the aim of this work should be addressed. The core of this work is an investigation of infographics as an information medium in relation to sustainability and future viability.

Chapter 2 defines the most important terms for this work. Then in chapter 3 the current research subject is observed, on which in chapter 4 a hypothesis is made. This hypothesis is then analyzed in Chapter 5, using the theory available, with the help of an infographic for its function and dysfunction. After comparing the positive and negative properties of infographics, an outlook and further questions for a possible application and verification are passed on to the summary and conclusion of this work.

The following chapter clarifies the most important terms for this work.

2 definition

In this chapter the most important terms for this work are to be defined.

2.1 Institution

The term institution means the following:

“Institutions are also effective, identifiable social units like brands” (Rentz, 2011a).

As an institution, technical editing is to be dealt with in this thesis, which is explained in the next point. The technical editing represents a social unit in the sense of the definition, since it is “a closed whole” (Wissen, 2000-2011a), which “concerns the community” and “serves the common good” (Wissen, 2000-2011b).

2.2 Technical editing

The following professional field can be found on the Karlsruhe University of Applied Sciences homepage, which includes the following range of tasks:

"... e.g. Information procurement and management, conception and creation of product information, development of teaching and training documents both classic and in the field of e-learning, understandable preparation of results from science and research as well as public relations. The technical editing is therefore an innovative and contemporary job description of our information society ”(Karlsruhe University of Applied Sciences, o.A.).

Whether this classification is correct and Technische Redaktion (TR) is an institution that is an innovative and contemporary job description in terms of future viability and sustainability is to be shown in the context of this work using the example of information visualization (IV). The terms future viability and sustainability will be discussed in the further definition part.

Seminar paper: Information visualization (IV)

The next definition is “Code and Medium”.

2.3 Code, medium and mass media

The following definition lays the foundation for understanding code:

“Code, a binary leading difference (binarization) or a bistable form (bistability) for generating binary differences or distinctions. Codes are always two-valued, have a positive and a negative value (Krause, 2005, p. 132) ”.

As can be deduced from this definition, codes are abstracta. A medium is required so that codes can be transported. On the one hand it can be a non-technical medium like language, on the other hand it can be a mass medium that technically conveys the code.

Luhmann defines medium as follows:

“Medium is a superabounding, combinative potential that gets only useable when and if it is provided with some fixed interconnection” (MMS Uni Hamburg, 2008/2009).

In order for a medium to be able to use its combined potential, however, it must be arranged between fixed points. The code therefore needs the medium to transport information. The medium, on the other hand, needs the specified framework of the code in order to function. When the two come together, a medium such as language can become a medium of communicative understanding.

The connection between medium and code can be shown well with an example: Money is a medium. The code that provides the framework for this medium is called numbers or non-numbers. Accordingly, the medium of money is coded in binary (cf. Krause, 2005, p. 52).

In this case you can see that there is no third dimension of “maybe”. The medium can only have a positive or negative value. In our culture, too, this medium is not without significance. Everyone learns as a small child that a “coin or bank note” is assigned the code numbers or non-numbers.

Following the example, the distinction between medium and mass media is discussed. At Luhmann, language is:

"... medium that increases the understanding of communication far beyond the perceptible" (Luhmann, 1984, p. 220).

In addition, Luhmann sees language as communication that is not technically bound, as it is characterized by the use of symbols and uses “optical or acoustic symbols for meaning”. That is why language as a medium differs from the mass media (cf. Luhmann, 1987, p. 220). Since the mass media are excluded from the media definition at Luhmann, the mass media are discussed below:

"In the following, the term mass media is intended to encompass all institutions in society that use technical means of reproduction to distribute communication" (Luhmann, 1996, p. 10).

In this definition, Luhmann retains the sociological perspective, as he refers to all institutions and organizations with "institutions of society" and places these as the agents at the center of his definition. He includes technology in his definition as a common means of communication used by all mass media and which is therefore a hallmark of media (see Miteb.ifs-dortmund, o.A.).

Because Luhmann also draws a clearer distinction between the medium of language and the mass media by designating the mass media as “dissemination media”, this distinction should also apply to this work (cf. Luhmann, 1987, p. 221).

In the course of the work, both definitions will be discussed using an application example. The online media mentioned later are seen as a sub-grouping of the mass media. Whenever coding is mentioned in the following, the interaction between code and medium must always be understood.

After these specifications on “code and medium”, what is meant by “function, dysfunction” and “terror management” should be discussed below.

2.4 Function vs. Dysfunction

In mathematics, the following definition of function can be found:

"A function is used to describe the relationships between several different factors" (Wirtschaftslexikon, O.A.).

A synonym for dysfunction is “malfunction, dysfunction”, which should also apply to this work (The free dictionary, 2011).

2.5 Terror Management

The basic understanding of terror management should be defined here:

“From a TMT perspective it shields individuals from fears surrounding death by enabling them to view themselves as valuable members of an eternal cultural reality that exists beyond the point of their own physical death” (Pyszczynski et al., 1999).

People deal with the situation in constricted and oppressed situations in two possible modes of behavior, which are dealt with in more detail in the functional analysis. In the following sub-chapter, the difference between the terms “sustainability” and “future viability” is to be worked out.

2.6 Sustainability vs. future viability

The following understanding should be defined under future viability in relation to the TR:

“Sustainable means whether there will be a future market for the TR, whether this market differs from the current market and whether the TR has the tools to serve this changed market” (Rentz, 2011c).

If one adds the consideration of global trends to this definition, it can be assumed that there must be a connection between global trends and “sustainable development”.

“Sustainable development means taking environmental aspects into account on an equal footing with social and economic aspects. Sustainable economic activity means: We have to leave our children and grandchildren an intact ecological, social and economic structure. One cannot be had without the other ”(Rentz, 2011b).

Seminar paper: Information visualization (IV)

In this context, the question must be asked, "whether the TR is set up in such a way that it plays a role" in the process of "Sustainable Development" (SD). Or whether there are changes that the TR would have to make.

In addition, the question must be dealt with, "how the 'world' of documentation has already changed due to the influence of the NE" (Rentz, 2011c)

If one also speaks of sustainability in connection with future viability, then this means that the TR must also face the process of the SD. To do this, the technical writers need to understand the term “sustainability” in order to be able to use it correctly. For this SD a formulation of certain processes is necessary that accompany the development (cf. Rentz, 2011d).

The following section is about the presentation of the previous research results and the classification of the IV within the broad research field.

3 observation

In this chapter, the previous research basis for IV is presented. In addition, the visualization techniques are classified. Finally, the aspects of the IV in the technical documentation are shown.

3.1 Classification of the topic in the research area

When talking about visualization, two research areas have to be distinguished: On the one hand there is the research field of scientific visualization. On the other hand, the IV. What both research areas have in common is the visualization of temporal phenomena. However, the boundaries between the two research areas are largely fluid, since on the one hand spatial data are represented with the aid of the IV, on the other hand principles from the IV are also used in spatial visualization techniques (cf. Tory et al., 2004).

First, the scientific visualization should be discussed.

3.1.1 Scientific Visualization

Scientific visualization is used when data is visualized that is spatially related (cf. Tory et al., 2004). The visualization of scientific data tries more closely to describe the application of computer graphic methods, whereby the quality of the interpretation of data is to be increased. In this context, the data are mainly drawn from measurements and experiments, or as a result of scientific computer-aided simulations. The aim of this visualization is to provide concepts for the visual representation of data. This is intended to provide a new insight and a better understanding of scientific phenomena. In contrast to this is the IV, which differs from the physical data spaces through its abstract information spaces. Therefore, the IV should be examined more closely according to the following graphic (cf. Däßler et al., 1998, p. 41). The following graphic Fig.1 shows the two visualization areas that are differentiated within the visualization research field (see Däßler, 1998, p. 42):


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