December 1st, 2007

The Language of Graphics

I read into Yuri Engelhardt’s dissertation “The Language of Graphics”, and I think it is a fantastic piece of work. As the title suggests, the thesis suggests a linguistically motivated approach to the analysis of graphics: based from a syntactical analysis of space, objects and their relations, Engelhardt classifies and exemplifies different types of syntactic structures in which graphical objects can be arranged in order to convey meaning. A great achievement is the comparison and “translation” of numerous, discipline specific approaches in this area, ranging from Tufte, Bertin, Card, over MacEachren to even Lakoff. Besides, I especially enjoyed his discussion of syntactic roles: Analogously to the different syntactic roles verbs can have in a sentence, the same visual elements can trigger different semantics or have different degrees of freedom according to their syntatic role in a graphical representation. Good examples are map markers, labels, containers, separators etc. Again, this part is analytically really strong and I believe also quite novel in this form. The thesis closes with a discussion of interpretation and semantics, and a resulting classification of graphic representations. But I haven’t gotten this far yet.

Again, I find it a great work, and it reminds me a lot of my Cognitive Science days :)

Here are some pictures from the thesis to give you an impression:

engelhardt_metromap.png

engelhardt_ob2ob.png

engelhardt_hieroglyphs.png

8 Responses to 'The Language of Graphics'

Subscribe to comments with RSS or TrackBack to 'The Language of Graphics'.

  1. LeMel
    February 18th, 2008 at 9:07 pm

    There is a book of the same title…

    The Language of Graphics” Edward Booth-Clibborn and Daniele Baroni, 1980, Harry N. Abrams Publishing

    It is about graphic design. It is somewhat a summarization of material from the 7-volume Kodansha series on graphic design.

    Nice site you have going here — thanks!

  2. Optimization Techniques
    November 11th, 2011 at 1:43 pm

    Optimization Techniques…

    […]the time to read or visit the content or sites we have linked to below the[…]…

  3. iPage Coupon Code
    November 29th, 2011 at 1:55 pm

    iPage Coupon Code…

    […]the time to read or visit the content or sites we have linked to below the[…]…

  4. Hosting Coupon
    November 29th, 2011 at 1:57 pm

    Hosting Coupon…

    […]below you’ll find the link to some sites that we think you should visit[…]…

  5. Data Processing
    November 30th, 2011 at 1:33 pm

    Data Processing…

    […]the time to read or visit the content or sites we have linked to below the[…]…

  6. it konsulenterkanfindes her
    April 18th, 2012 at 7:33 am

    Thanks for another informative blog. Where else could I am getting that type of information written in such a perfect method? I have a undertaking that I’m just now running on, and I have been at the look out for such information.

  7. mobile games
    March 30th, 2014 at 8:56 am

    Nice blog right here! Additionally your website so much up fast!

    What host are you using? Can I am getting your affiliate link to your host?

    I want my site loaded up as quickly as yours lol

  8. clumsy ninja hack cydia
    May 26th, 2014 at 3:07 pm

    Hi, i think that i saw you visited my site so i came to “return the favor”.I am trying to find things to improve my web site!I suppose its ok to use some of your ideas!!

Leave a Reply