I consider visualising data to be a crucial step in ensuring that people understand whatever I am trying to explain. There are of course, good visualisations and bad visualisations. I have had my share of both. But, what if visualisations are not just simply good or bad, but perpetuate inequality. Stephanie Evergreen and Vidhya Shanker are running a series on how data visualisation (Dataviz) can unintentionally perpetuate inequality. The three posts they have written cover:
Changing a map of concentrated poverty in Minnesota
Show how a simple Insert>Bar Graph routine can contribute to racial disparity
- Looks at symbolism of imagery we use, and raises the issue of minstrel imagery.
The series raises important issues on how data is represented, and whether they reinforce stereotypes and reminds us that in our work the dignity of the people behind the data matters.