Data Visualization Literacy

Katy Börner
Indiana University

In an age of information overload, the ability to make sense of vast amounts of data and to render insightful visualizations is as important as the ability to read and write. This talk explains and exemplifies the power of data visualizations not only to help locate us in physical space but also to help us understand the extent and structure of our collective knowledge, to identify bursts of activity, pathways of ideas, and borders that beg to be crossed. It introduces a theoretical visualization framework meant to empower anyone to systematically render data into insights together with tools that support temporal, geospatial, topical, and network analyses and visualizations. Materials from the Information Visualization MOOC ( and maps from the Places & Spaces: Mapping Science exhibit ( will be used to illustrate key concepts and to inspire participants to visualize their very own data.

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