Our group presentations for the visualization project happen this week. This project requires us to make something invisible visible through the use of acquired data from a specific topic. At first, my two other group mates and i struggled to come up with a topic that we all thought was interesting and uncommon. We asked ourselves: what data can we collect that will enable us to create a visualization that is unique and different to other existing types based on a similar topic? Will we have easy access to this data or will we have to conduct our own forms of research (surveys etc.)? We came up with many different topics ranging from global warming to advertisements, but decided to settle with Hollywood movies and its changing themes over the years. We then thought about the ways in which we could use the collected data to create a visualization that would bring to light a certain form of pattern or understanding based on our topic.
As mentioned in a previous lecture, visualisation is about discovering new patterns and insights, and “using images we draw from data to structure new relationships and new forms of knowledge”.
The visualization that we came up with is a vertical curve consisting of several layers. Each layer represents a time period and includes two different images placed side by side. The images on the left display examples of films that were most popular during that era, while those on the right show social, economic or political events that occurred then.
From our visualization, we are able to see that these films tend to respond to the events that occur in society and the ways in which people are affected by them. The films depict real-life occurrences, either directly or indirectly, through story ideas that were inspired by these events. Our visualization summarizes many years of records and information (archive) into something that is straightforward and easy to comprehend. In addition, it saves researchers a lot of time since all of the information is compressed into a single source which consists mostly of pictures.