This blog is maintained by Florian Kräutli as part of his research in interactive data visualisation for cultural data.
Exploring and understanding cultural data through interactive timelines
Current databases for cultural collections are more than just a way of recording and keeping track of the content of archives, libraries and museum collections. They are capable of holding all kinds of data and meta data, and are therefore becoming valuable resources for research in their own right. But the richer these resources are, the more difficult it becomes to gain insights and discover patterns and connections within and across cultural datasets.
In our research we develop data visualisation tools which facilitate the exploration of digital collections and allow users to gain new insights and understanding from their datasets. While many methods have been developed to visualise quantitative data, such as financial, statistical or meteorological quantities, the visualisation of cultural data, such as collections of works of art, objects, pieces of music or writing, has scarcely been explored so far.
We focus on time based visualisations such as timelines. Time is a universal framework for sense making and the dimension of time can be used across datasets, even in the absence of other meta data. Nevertheless, the ways we represent and visualise time have not seen much development in the digital age.
With our research we address issues around the representation of cultural data, the visualisation of time and time spans and the development of suitable user interfaces for experiencing and exploring digital collections.
About the author
Florian holds a BDes in product design from the Design Academy Eindhoven and a MSc in Cognitive Computing from Goldsmiths, focussing on philosophy of perception and artificial intelligence. He is experienced as a designer, software developer and lecturer and his work has been internationally exhibited and featured in both design and technology centred media. His research revolves around interactive data visualisations for cultural data, with a focus on representations of time.
Florian undertakes his research as an industrial doctorate funded by the EPSRC in collaboration with System Simulation, a London based software engineering company which has wide ranging experience in collections management, and is supervised by Prof Stephen Boyd Davis, Professor of Design Research at the School of Design of the Royal College of Art.