22 August 2016

Research Data Things 20/23 - Find it With Data

Here's one I prepared earlier....  From some research data I worked on with some colleagues. Use of Instagram by libraries.

"It has been said that 80% of all research data has a geographic or spatial component." -- Thing 20

I recently undertook a data visualisation course, and somewhere in it I'm sure we were referred to a site that defined scientific data as having some kind of spatial/temporal facet to it. I can't find it though I have trawled through the pages - sorry that I have no citation for it. But if that is the case, and it makes sense to me, then it's no surprise that 80% of research data has a geographic or spatial component. I'd argue that geographic is spatial at our planet's level. Imaging of microscopic subjects is spatial just at a teeny, tiny level.

I think geospatial visualisations are compelling for several reasons.
  1. "Research estimates that eighty to eighty five percent of our perception, learning, cognition and activities are mediated through vision." -- Thomas Politzer, Vision is our dominant sense. Most of us are switched on ready for visual stimuli.
  2. The level of focus (geo) as opposed to micro (too small to see) or macro (too large to see) is pitched just right for humans who are designed to live in a 'geo' sized landscape. It is easy for us to understand these visualisations and put ourselves in the picture.
  3. Storytelling connects us to our humanity -- Quora Good visualisation give us a reason to engage by telling us something about ourselves.