Data visualization

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Data visualization

The goal of this assignment is to engage in interdisciplinary thinking and creative activity to produce a project that is guided by your own interests and values. This semester you have been studying the many different ways visual art can have a vital role in civic engagement. In this culminating assignment you will be able to put all these new skills to work.

  • Data Exploration: First, begin by exploring the extensive data results from Kansas City Open Data https://data.kcmo.org/ (Links to an external site.). You are limited to this data base, but you can select any area of civic interest that is important to you. As you explore the data, consider your own priorities and positions. What area do you want to explore and why? What are you expecting to find?
  • Content Analysis: After selecting a specific data set from Kansas City Open Data, ask yourself the following questions:

What is your own position and priorities regarding this topic? How could you use data to support your values? As you examine and analyze the data, begin to establish a clear narrative from it. What story does the data tell? What are the most important aspects of the data? Please refer to the statement outline below for all considerations.

  • Context and Visual Translation: Develop an appropriate and coherent, visually engaging representation to communicate your ideas and your message. Produce a persuasive image, graphic or photograph, that visually explicates the given data.

Required Steps to Complete Assignment for both Discussion Board Draft and Final Submission

In your final submission, please highlight any edited sections and/or additions to the statement draft posted to the discussion board. Also, please note any changes made to the image based on peer comments and class feedback.

Step 1: Image Requirements:

  • Present an image that is formatted as a JPEG (or an MP4 for animation)
  • You can use any method of representation from carefully orchestrated photos of real objects, to drawings, graphics and even animations to achieve the goals of the assignment.
  • Give your data visualization an appropriate title and include all necessary data specifics and/or measurements (location and scope of data, time frame, units pictured, etc.)

Step 2: Statement Requirements:
You will also be required to submit a short statement (300-400 words) about your project and the process of creating it. Please address all topics (1-5 for draft and 1-6 for final submission) below in the order outlined and using the numbered section headings provided.

  1. The Primary Motivation (Why)
    Why did you select this data set? Which of your own personal priorities does it support? How did your values influence the project?
  2. The Primary Goal (What)
    What is the primary intended goal and message for this project? You may consider your target audience as well. How do you hope to impact or influence the viewer?
  3. The Role of Visual Art in Civic Engagement (Context)
    What unique opportunities does visual art provide for reaching the intended goals of your particular project? How, in general, can visual communication be effective as part of civic engagement? What specific and unique challenges do you see when engaging art to communicate civic concerns and social change? What should you consider as you engage civically using visual artifacts?
  4. Your Interaction with the Data (Process)
    What did you expect to find on your topic? Did you discover something different than you expected? Did working on the project change your perspectives or views on the topic? What did you learn from working on the project?
  5. Connect your image to the message (How)
    What imagery or visuals did you select for your message and why? Compare your visual solution to a standard presentation (plain bar graph or a pie chart). What role can visual imagery have in communicating concepts? Is it more effective or less effective? Explain why?
  6. Changes in FINAL Submission
    Outline changes in your image between draft and this final submission.

Helpful Tips

  • Do not over complicate. For example, if you are making a visualization on data about education, consider stacking books to illustrate percentages or drawing graphs on a chalk board. Remember to consider the context of the data.
  • Try to make it relate to your own life in some way by choosing objects around your house or dorm room. This is a good way to also make it more original.
  • If you know how to use design software, you are welcome to produce your assignment with those programs. However, you do not need them. Work with what you have available, and simply take a GOOD PICTURE (well lit, in focus, clearly visible) with your smartphone.
  • Choose data that you are interested in, and have fun. You may need to experiment with several options before choosing the best presentation to explore.
  • Please, no pie charts. Take this beyond the expected to make it effective and creative.
  • It is required to integrate image and data in the image (as you did when making a MEME that combined text and image). Do not present image and data separately.
  • Comparisons can be a good approach.

check the examples below:

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