Visualizing Uncertainty and Perspectives

Strengthening the methodology of digital humanities

Image: Caspar David Friedrich – Wanderer above the sea of fog

Human communication is rarely explicit and accurate. We use as little as possible words to convey a message and assume that it is clear in the context. Some information is not easy to put into words, such as someone’s feelings, or the exact time and place of things. In addition, we always choose a certain perspective when we describe the world around us. Different sources describe the same situation differently. On top of this, people are often insecure and express this in communication. An analysis of human communication must therefore not only display the information but also the uncertainty, vagueness and the perspective of the sources. This makes the information complex. In Visualizing Uncertainties and Perspectives a visual toolkit has been built that can show uncertainty and perspective as a layer on top of the content of texts. In the project we have shown that the same toolkit can deal with very different types of data: biographies, news and emotions in theater plays from the 18th century.

Participating organisations

Netherlands eScience Center
Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam

Output

Reading news, visually

Author(s): Maarten van Meersbergen
Published in 2017
  • 1.
    Data Visualization and Analysis for the Humanities
    Published in 2017

Team

Janneke van der Zwaan
Janneke van der Zwaan
eScience Research Engineer
Netherlands eScience Center
Maarten van Meersbergen
Maarten van Meersbergen
eScience Research Engineer
Netherlands eScience Center
PV
Piek Vossen
Principal investigator
Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam

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