Blog posts by From numbers to graphics

Charles-Joseph Minard’s map of Napoleon’s flawed Russian campaign: An ever-current classic

Some data visualisations can be perceived as something more than figurative representations of numerical or statistical analyses, and certain examples of infographics give us something more than simply visual information. Often it is the design that fascinates us, ... Read more

Why I sometimes wish I were a linguist

By Verena Elisabeth Lechner First, I need to clarify the following: I am a PhD student in the study program of linguistics. But unlike most other students on that program, my background is not in linguistics. No – I am from the design field, and in my PhD ... Read more

How can data visualization have a political impact?

By Torgeir Uberg Nærland, Postdoc, University of Bergen, Norway. In this blog entry, we will take a closer look at how data visualization can impact politics. Is it possible that data visualizations can influence how politics is governed, or how ... Read more

Spider webs and other sources of ideas

(Written by Verena Elisabeth Lechner) The potential future path of a hurricane, the news network around Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin or the development of the earth temperature – these are just three examples of what a data visualization can show. It can ... Read more

Listen to the sound of data

(Written by Wibke Weber. Illustration: Schematic oscillogram of a sound. Author: Klaus-Dieter Keller, CC BY-SA 3.0) 90 rounds in 10 seconds. More than 1,100 rounds in all. This is the result of the shooting in Las Vegas in October 2017.  “How did the ... Read more

A good reader discovers what he does not understand

Written by:  Elise Seip Tønnesen Two young boys are hunched over a computer. They are working on a task about population trends in social studies, and are using the website Gapminder to find answers and connections. To begin with, they explore the tool ... Read more

Sublime Visualisations of Immensely Big Data

(Photo: A classical painting thought to show the experience of the sublime is Caspar David Friedrich’s Wanderer above the Sea of Fog, 1817, Kunsthalle Hamburg. Public domain) (By: Jill Walker Rettberg, University of Bergen prof of digital ... Read more

Do graphs and charts make you a wiser person?

What effects do the growing number of graphs and diagrams have on the news that we read on news sites, or watch on TV? Do they make them easier to understand or more trustworthy? Do you become a wiser person, due to the graphics? Or do you regard them as mere ... Read more

From numbers to graphics

From numbers to graphics

Research on data visualization

Graphs, charts and colorful maps. We meet them almost every day, in the news media, in the textbooks and in the information campaigns. The amount of data in society is rapidly growing and it is becoming easier to visualize them.

How do we read such data visualizations? And how are they made? Do they make the news and the textbooks more objective and informative, or are they perceived more or less as  decorations?

In this blog, nine researchers in a project administered from the University of Agder, Norway,  ask how we better can understand and critically evaluate data visualizations, those of us who are neither mathematicians nor designers.

To learn more about the project, please visit our website,

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