Skip to Main Content

Data Visualization

Resources and information about data visualization at the University of Calgary and beyond.

Data Visualization

Data visualization is the process of visually representing data to amplify cognition.  That is, in data visualization data is changed from a symbolic to a geometric representation that makes it possible to more easily analyze or communicate data.

There are a variety of terms used to describe sub-topics of data visualizations:

  • Information Visualizations are visualizations where the spatial representation is chosen rather than implied by the data.  E.g., in a bar chart or a wordle the positions of the elements are designed to best represent the data.
  • Science Visualizations are visualizations using data with a given spatial representation such as a map or an MRI volume visualization.
  • Data analytics often integrates data visualization but is focused also on computation analysis to better understand data as well as to predict future or alternative scenarios.
  • Infographics are bespoke designed presentations of data (often using visualizations) that tell a specific story or insight about a dataset.

Data Visualization at the University of Calgary

An interesting aspect of Data Visualization organizationally at the University is that it does not exist uniquely in any specific faculty or department.  Scholars make use of and have expertise in visualization all across academia in disciplines such as architecture, art, biology, communications, computer science, design, digital humanities, kinesiology, engineering, geography, math & statistics, medicine, psychology, and other areas too numerous to name.  

Data Visualization at the Libraries and Cultural Resources (LCR)

The Taylor Family Digital features a Visualization Studio a research collaboration space specifically design for data visualization.  Additionally LCR employs a Data Visualization Coordinator, John Brosz, who is available for training, advice, consultation, or collaboration.