DATA, code, design | Daten-Visualisierung, Art + Science = ?


„Mit Visualisierung oder Veranschaulichung (Sichtbarmachen) meint man im Allgemeinen, abstrakte Daten (z. B. Texte) und Zusammenhänge in eine graphische bzw. visuell erfassbare Form zu bringen.“

Data visualization (often abbreviated data viz[1]) is an interdisciplinary field that deals with the graphic representation of data. It is a particularly efficient way of communicating when the data is numerous as for example a Time Series. From an academic point of view, this representation can be considered as a mapping between the original data (usually numerical) and graphic elements (for example, lines or points in a chart). The mapping determines how the attributes of these elements vary according to the data. In this light, a bar chart is a mapping of the length of a bar to a magnitude of a variable. Since the graphic design of the mapping can adversely affect the readability of a chart,[2] mapping is a core competency of Data visualization. Data visualization has its roots in the field of Statistics and is therefore generally considered a branch of Descriptive Statistics. However, because both design skills and statistical and computing skills are required to visualize effectively, it is argued by some authors that it is both an Art and a Science.[3]

Art + Science = Informationdesign?

Als Informations Designer und angehender Communication Designer trifft diese Definition den Nagel für mich auf den Kopf:

Information design is the practice of presenting information in a way that fosters an efficient and effective understanding of the information. The term has come to be used for a specific area of graphic design related to displaying information effectively, rather than just attractively or for artistic expression. Information design is closely related to the field of data visualization and is often taught as part of graphic design courses.[1] The broad applications of information design along with its close connections to other fields of design and communication practices have created some overlap in the definitions of communication design, data visualization, and information architecture.”

Wenn man von solchen multidisziplinär erstellten Diagrammen spricht, spricht man meist von solchen:

  • Line chart  
  • Bar chart
  • Histogram
  • Scatterplot
  • Boxplot
  • Pareto chart
  • Pie chart
  • Area chart
  • Control chart
  • Run chart
  • Stem-and-leaf display
  • Cartogram
  • Small multiple
  • Sparkline
  • Table
  • Marimekko chart

Charles Joseph Minard

Wenn wir von Informationsgrafik sprechen wird oft auf den “Erfinder” Charles Joseph Minard (1781 – 1870) verwiesen. Minard gilt als „a cartographic pioneer in many respects“.

Bereits 1825 studierte Minard Passagierflüsse/Frachtflüsse im Schienenverkehr und hat hierzu Balkendiagramme angefertigt.

Minards erste statistische Grafik

1845 visualisierte Minard die erste und revolutionäre Flow-Map, welche von Edward Tufte als „vermutlich beste Infografik aller Zeiten“ bezeichnet wird. Sie zeigt den Straßenverkehr zwischen Dijon und Mulhouse.

Minards erste Flow-Grafik

Seine Infografik, später bekannt als Sankey diagram, zeigt Napoleons Russlandfeldzug 1812 in der „Carte figurative des pertes successives en hommes de l’Armée Française dans la campagne de Russie 1812–1813

“The original description in French accompanying the map translated to English:[5]
Figurative Map of the successive losses in men of the French Army in the Russian campaign 1812–1813.
Drawn by M. Minard, Inspector General of Bridges and Roads (retired). Paris, November 20, 1869.
The numbers of men present are represented by the widths of the colored zones at a rate of one millimeter for every ten thousand men; they are further written across the zones. The red designates the men who enter Russia, the black those who leave it. — The information which has served to draw up the map has been extracted from the works of M. M. Thiers, de Ségur, de Fezensac, de Chambray and the unpublished diary of Jacob, the pharmacist of the Army since October 28th.

In order to better judge with the eye the diminution of the army, I have assumed that the troops of Prince Jérôme and of Marshal Davout, who had been detached at Minsk and Mogilev and have rejoined near Orsha and Vitebsk, had always marched with the army.“

Minards Infografik über Napoleons Russlandfeldzug