From my experience, you can tell me about something until you are blue in the face. You can explain it a million different ways and I still will not understand it until I see a visual or an example. What can I say…I’m a very visual person! I absoutly loved the visuals that we saw on wednesday. Some of the concepts in the visuals I most likley would not have understood or believed without the visual aid. Take the Africa visual. I never knew that Africa was that huge. I mean I knew it was big but not that big. If someone were to try to explain to me how all of the top countries could fit into Africa I would have been very confused. This visual made it easier for me to understand.
Personally I think that this is the point of visualization, to give a visual to explain concepts that are difficult to explain in words. They make it easier to see difficult concepts. They also make it easier to see the way that data plots out like the Facebook breakup and the Grocery map. Visualization tools help you and your users see data in a new light and to learn from this new data. This is what makes Visualization DH. It presents the information in a new way so that people can learn from it and make their own research questions. Visualization fits in very nicely with what we are learning and what we know about digital humanities.
I would use visualization in many ways in my project. First Emily and I are planning to have the facsimiles of the works on our site for our users to view. This will allow them to see how she wrote and edited her work. We are also planning to have a link to watch the movie version and dramatical version of “Little Women.” This will allow for the users to see how the play is different from the film and how they are both different from the original book. Another way that we could possibly use visualization is to take how each character is described in the book, movie and play. Then have a sketch from each of these and put them side by side by side to allow the users to see how each medium has changed the appearance of the March children. These visualization tools will hopefully provide our users with new insight into the material and will inspire them to formulate their own research questions, one of the meanings of a digital humanities site.