In August 2012 I collaborated with CIID Research to create a range of visualizations of case-studies data as a part of European Union MeLa project.
MeLa - "European Museums in an age of migrations" is a four year long research project funded by the European Commission. CIID Research was of part of Research Field 05 of the project called "Exhibition Design, Technology of Representation and Experimental Actions" and invited me to help them with building tools to collect, analyze and visualize data they gathered during the research process investigating use of technology in the exhibition space.
"Visualisation of Cross-Field Research Data, reflects on the process and consequences of researching museum practice through a set of data-driven algorithm-derived data visualisation of case-study parameters and descriptions." - MeLa
We started by building a mash-up of Google Forms and Google Maps for collecting data about interesting case studies. The website was used by number of researchers from all around the Europe to enter data related to their field of study. Eventually we decided to build a custom front end for Google Forms to have more control over the layout and fix some usability issues (like editing previously added data).
The first step was to see what we actually have had collected so we displayed the distribution of all the possible answers for all the questions. Armed with that knowledge we could better choose and design the type of visualization that was appropriate for each piece of data.
Location visualizations are showing where are the collected exhibitions took place. Most of them happened in New York or London, so we had to come with a layout that doesn't neglect the less popular places.
Next we looked at the words researchers used to describe the exhibitions.
topic C: stories memory narrated american history city record memories initiative people museum project topic E: exhibition interactive museum visitors resources cultural institutions technology archive
We then measured how close each exhibition fits these topics and plotted then on a radial chart. Each corner of the polygon is one topic and number of corners represent the number of topics used.
To show how type of media exhibited changes with the way the exhibition topic is approached we again used radial charts.
All the selected visualization were then exported to SVG, tweaked in Adobe Illustrator and used in the final book.