Booker and Visualization Tools

In September 2012 Matthew Booker contributed his article, Visualizing San Francisco Bay’s Forgotten Past, to the Journal of Digital Humanities. He stated in his conclusion, “if we cannot even visualize what that past looked like, it becomes much more difficult to imagine its future.” Using the metaphor of “accretion” which is a geology term meant to describe the process of discovery through exposure of layers, or as the dictionary defines it as the process of growth or increase, typically by the gradual accumulation of additional layers or matter he explains how discovery comes through exposing the various layers to understand how something works.  Data visualization tools such as wordle, national archive photographs, the spatial history lab of Stanford, Booker provides text with visual images to elaborate his ideas about changes in San Franscisco Bay salt ponds over time.

This would be a tremendous asset to many undergraduate courses aiding students to clearly demonstrate their research, or writing, or creative works in a more interesting an approachable way. A couple of these could bring interesting methods to depict visual information in courses that I teach. I will need to do some further research to find visualization tools that specifically could be beneficial for my Altered Book projects, but two that are listed here could be the, http://piktochart.com/ and wordle.net.

PiktoChart was established in 2011 by a young couple in Malaysia. They now how a thriving business with over 3 million users and 40 employees. They offer a blog spot and other tools to develop visual their tag line is “All you will need to make information beautiful. Designing has never been easier.”  This could be great for a blog for my students and a user friendly site with tutorials for easy application. Non-profits and educational institutions can buy special packages such as.

Classroom PRO $120  for 4 months (30 accounts)

  • All templates
  • Image upload limit increased to 400mb
  • Hi-Res image exports
  • High quality PDF exports
  • Piktochart watermark removal
  • More privacy options
  • Integrated export platform

They are hiring looking for a

Candidate Happiness Officer (Recruitment)…LOVE IT!!

The other was wordle.net. I tried it and it is fun. I can see students using this for a page or two in their altered books. It is a fun way to bring a lot of text together in a different perhaps more stimulating way. But my criticism with this is that the words simple become a visual, and image, and lose their impact as part of a story where the content matters. The flow of the words in a paragraph become simplified to the basics.

An altered book site that I am investigating and am very excited about is:

http://altered-books.siggraph.org/wp/?p=52

More on this next week.

Sarah