Infoscience

Conference paper

Reading Data Together

Network visualizations are the most complex visualizations possible, but sometimes they are not capable of describing system-complexity. Even if they are the most widely employed visualization techniques, they still have limitations. Indeed a) their relations are not sufficient to analyse complexity and b) networks do not distinguish between qualitative differences of represented entities. Starting from the actual network model, how could one manipulate this visualization to improve complexity comprehension? In this paper, we propose a solution called trajectory. The trajectory has two major points of difference compared to the network: the trajectory a) represents not only distances, but also durations, and b) it displays kinetic entities according to their evolution with time. The discourse is articulated around these four points. Considering that networks are tools widely used by digital humanists, we propose a new language to improve the quality of represented data: a new network based on a vertical timeline. Complexification of the network visualization is not just a new language, but also a tool that would give the field of Digital Humanities the most complex of all possible visualizations.

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