This week’s readings and lessons made me recall my Information Visualization class, from my third term.  With apologies to my classmates in that class, those who have taken it before or might be taking it now, I would like to offer a brief definition: information visualization seeks to understand how data information can be represented visually, to better impart knowledge or understanding.  There are all kinds of sites that deal with information visualization. 

  • InfoVis is an collaborative wiki on all things Information Visualization:
  • This is a cool blog that focuses on aesthetics.
  • Here’s the Wikipedia entry for the subject.

There is a clear connection between information visualization concepts “non-text content” and “mashups”.   As Lesson 5 noted, a good example of non-text content is Google Maps.  Maps are easy, excellent examples that offer data information (like physical location etc) in pictoral or visual form. 

What I love about this week lesson is how mashups bring social media and online collaboration into the equation.  Adding information to the Google Map application is a terrific idea (and as an aside – Library’s combining their locations with Google seems like an obvious, almost quaint idea;  it is interesting how some of these concepts seem more second nature by now). 

I liked how Fichter relates mashup to an overall online ecosystem.  She describes a rich, fertile open-source environment, where data creaters and users work together, mixing up online material.  I am particularly intrigued with how libraries can work with patrons on catalogue presentation and accessibility.  I wonder if libraries can engage clients enough, to the point that clients are creating meaningful online library content, along with library staff.  I briefly discussed this in my previous post (as well as in the comments); it is a topic I find especially interesting.


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