Resources for ‘Data Visualisation for Analysis in Scholarly Research’

Woodcut of the statue described by the prophet Daniel, from Lorenz Faust’s Anatomia statuae Danielis (“An anatomy of Daniel’s statue”), 1585.
Woodcut, An anatomy of Daniel’s statue, 1585.

A collection of links for further reading for the British Library’s Digital Scholarship course on ‘Data Visualisation for Analysis in Scholarly Research’. I update this each time I teach the course, so please leave a comment if you know of any great sources I’ve missed. Slides and exercises for each version of the workshop are below. Many thanks to workshop participants for their feedback, as it directly helps make the next version more effective. And of course huge thanks to Nora McGregor and the British Library’s Digital Scholarship team!

Last updated January 2018. Between course revisions I add interesting visualisations to my Scholarly Vision tumblr and pinboard.

Links for exercises

Previous dataset:

Visualisations as political storytelling

In your browser, explore two or more of the links below
Elections provide opportunities to compare visualisations based on a theme, as each media outlet competes to tell the most compelling visual stories. Take a few minutes to explore and compare two or more of these:

Scholarly visualisations to explore and discuss

Trying entity recognition and data enhancement

I’ve suggested a few tools as they each have different strengths and weaknesses. If you don’t have any of your own text to hand, try a paragraph or two of text from a news website.

Other visualisation exercises

Cleaning data as preparation for visualisation

Sources cited and references to find out more

Types of visualisations

Planning and designing good data visualisations

On data visualisation for scholarly research

See also the projects listed in specific workshop activities.

Critiquing visualisations

Definitions of data visualisation

Histories of data visualisation

General references

  • Data Visualization Talks Online, 2010 post from Alark Joshi listing various videos
  • Data and visualization blogs worth following (early 2012 post by Nathan Yau)
  • Few, Stephen. 2009. Now I See It: Simple Visualization Techniques for Quantitative Analysis. Analytics Press.
  • Lima, Manuel. 2011. Visual complexity: mapping patterns of information. New York: Princeton Architectural Press.
  • Moretti, Franco. 2005. Graphs, maps, trees: abstract models for a literary history. London: Verso.
  • Rosenberg, Daniel, and Grafton, Anthony. 2010. Cartographies of Time: A History of the Timeline. Princeton Architectural Press
  • Tufte, Edward R. 1983. The Visual Display of Quantitative Information. Graphics Press.
  • Tufte, Edward R. 2007. Beautiful evidence. Cheshire, Conn: Graphics press.
  • Ware, Colin. 2008. Visual Thinking for Design. Morgan Kaufmann.
  • Yau, Nathan. 2011. Visualize this: the FlowingData guide to design, visualization, and statistics. Indianapolis, Ind: Wiley Pub.

Image: Woodcut of the statue described by the prophet Daniel, from Lorenz Faust’s Anatomia statuae Danielis (“An anatomy of Daniel’s statue”), 1585. In Alan Jacobs, History as wall art.