December 2nd, 2010

Visualizations for the Global Agenda

Just a quick post to announce two visualizations which went live this week, related to the Global Agenda Summit of the World Economic Forum.

Global Agenda Outlook 2011

A half-explanatory, half-exploratory sequence of visualizations, summarizing the results of a survey among Global Agenda Council members about their perceptions of important trends and developments. This “guided” visualization can be quite satisfying, when done right (the New York Times graphics department are clearly masters in that genre), but poses some challenges, both from a technical as well as a conceptual point of view. Overall, I am quite happy with how it turned out and hope I will learn more about this type of mixed exploration/explanation tools.

GAC Issue Browser 2010

This application allows to browse and search for the Global Agenda Councils, based on their interlinkage. (Again, this data is based on a survey, where Council members were asked who their council should cooperate with).

On the start screen, the bubbles representing councils are scaled according to how much interest they received from other Councils. China is huge in this respect.

Clicking one of the bubbles will lead you to the detail screen, where you can see the exact interlinkage, and read the survey members’ commentary by hovering over the arrows.

Also noteable: There was a challenge based on the same data, so make sure to check out the results.

5 Responses to 'Visualizations for the Global Agenda'

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  1. John
    December 2nd, 2010 at 10:02 am

    This is great work Moritz. We really respect and appreciate your efforts.

  2. Moritz Stefaner
    December 2nd, 2010 at 10:34 am

    @John: Thanks! I also enjoyed the constellation roamer visualization of the GAC data, always so educating to see different visualizations of the same data…

  3. jerome cukier
    December 2nd, 2010 at 5:30 pm

    the half exploratory/half explanatory genre which is mostly uncharted territory holds some promise.

    I don’t think it’s reasonable to expect people to remember facts from a traditional presentation especially if they didn’t ask to receive it.
    however, by inviting them to manipulate data and achieving tasks, they can be brought to understand the underlying ideas.
    The risk IMO is to have a fully open, complex exploratory interface in which users may not perceive which tasks they should achieve. So users may either miss the point entirely, reach different conclusions from intended, or lose interest.

    so by having users manipulate a controlled dataset with limited interactions, supported by clear explanations, we can have the best of both worlds.

  4. Moritz Stefaner
    December 2nd, 2010 at 7:11 pm

    I tend to agree, although personally I like the open, exploratory visualizations best, that simply aim at providing the best form for the data, and don’t come with too much pre-fabricated conclusions. But I agree that visualizations that provide some easy start with some interesting stories will definitely draw people in easier. For anybody who is interested, Jeff Heer has co-authored a first paper on the topic: Edward Segel, Jeffrey Heer: Narrative Visualization: Telling Stories with Data. But clearly, there is much uncharted territory left..

  5. highperformancecoaching
    March 9th, 2015 at 2:03 am

    Magnificent site. A lot of helpful info here.
    I’m sending it to a few buddis ans also sharing in delicious.
    Annd of course, thanks to your effort!