This talk will take an informal look at interactive visualization projects done at the University of Virginia’sVirginia Center for Digital History (VCDH) and the Sciences, Arts, & Humanities Network of Technology Initiatives (SHANTI) digital humanities centers. The projects were built using an NEH-funded visualization authoring tool,VisualEyes, developed at UVa.
VisualEyes enables scholars to present selected primary source materials and research findings while encouraging active inquiry and hands-on learning among general and targeted audiences. It communicates through the use of dynamic displays that organize and present meaningful information in both traditional and multimedia formats, such as audio-video, animation, charts, maps, data, and interactive timelines.
I will also show a number of student-generated visualizations, created in the context of undergraduate project-based learning (PBL) seminars, and discuss how visualization and PBL are strong partners to promote historical inquiry. As a consequence, I have developed a new model to help scaffold the design of data-driven interactive projects called ASSERT. Ask a question; Search for evidence to answer that question; Structure the data;Envision ways to answer the question using the structured data; Representthat data in a compelling interactive manner; and finally, Tell a story using that data to answer the question.
Bill Ferster directs the VisualEyes Project at the University of Virginia with a joint faculty appointment with the Center for Technology and Teacher Education at the Curry School of Education, and with the Sciences, Humanities & Arts Technology Initiative (SHANTI) at the College of Arts and Sciences.
In past lives, he founded StageTools, a leading developer of digital motion control tools with its MovingPicture product; Editing Machines, EMMY award winning developer of the first digital nonlinear editing system; and West End, a pioneer in PC-based animation and presentation graphics tools.