The purpose of this activity is to learn more about information visualization by experimenting with modifications to an existing visualization. You’ll need a web browser to do this activity, but it doesn’t particularly matter which browser you use.
For this activity, we will use IBM’s Many Eyes collaborative visualization system, which allows people to upload data sets, create visualizations of them, and comment on them. Many Eyes was developed in the IBM Cambridge research lab, just down the street from MIT, by Martin Wattenberg and Fernanda Viegas, among others.
Go to the Survival on the Titanic (online resource no longer available) visualization and think about the following questions:
- Study the visualization for a bit. What does it reveal about patterns of survival among the Titanic’s passengers and crew?
- How are visual variables being used to display data attributes?
- What aspects of the Shneiderman mantra (overview, zoom & filter, details on demand) are supported by the visualization?
- Experiment with assigning different data properties to aspects of the visualization (row, column, size, color). What else can you learn about the patterns of survival?