Parallel Sets is a tool and visualization method for exploring categorical data. Multidimensional data is going to be hard to present without significant design work and hard to interpret for most information seekers. There is a learning curve with these graphs, but once you get used to them they really are very rich and easy to query.


SunBurst, IORing

I’ve been surprised by how many hierarchies can be extracted from aggregated museum object data. I’ve always liked the look of John Stasko’s SunBursts. Like the treemaps, another space-filling hierarchical display, but radial and a bit mesmerizing when the interaction is done just right.


Some of these are crude, maybe come off a bit clumsy – but early days yet. I’m still getting a handle on what content I can really use, and still have a load of questions; how precise is the geography data? how reliable are the dates? are there any meaningful connections between object records already noted in the metadata?

Where were all of European Sculpture and Decorative Arts works made?

Where were all of the European Sculpture and Decorative Arts works made?

The Google motion charts were a breeze. Post the data to a spreadsheet, make sure the data is formatted correctly, and set the spreadsheet as the datasource using the Google visualization code – all there is to it.

Dashboards are all the rage. I’ve been able to get some museum library information to power new charts and start working out what kinds of questions we might be able to answer. What works are best represented in the libraries? What kinds of connections are there between special exhibitions and library research traffic? …

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