http://prezi.com/equ6vf-ppsyn/top-10-drug-busts/?utm_campaign=share&utm_medium=copy The primary purpose of our visualisation is to make visible the top ten drug busts around the world. By pin-pointing certain cities on a world map, we are able to visually portray the hot-spots on an international level. Furthermore, the visualisation maps out any global patterns and the level of concentration in different parts of the world. The use of the various sized boxes signifies the extent of the drug bust. Viewers are easily able to identify the larger boxes as the bigger drug busts of the last three decades. In comparison, the smaller boxes represent a discovery of a lesser value of drugs. For example; in Australia, a value of $309million of MDMA was found in 2008. This amount is relatively insignificant when compared to the other end of the spectrum where $12 billion worth of cocaine was found in California in 1989. Of course, this has appropriately been represented by a larger box. Hence, through this visualisation, the size, value and location of the top ten drug busts have been made visible and become easy to identify and absorb by any viewer. In regards to the data found on the top ten drugs busts of the last three decades, the information has been collated and is easily found within online archives. Hence, the data pre-exists and has not been created by us. However we have been able to visually present this data, making the invisible visible. Thus, we are creating the visualisation based on data which has surfaced by searching existing and easily accessible archives. It is however important to consider the elements of our visualisation which are already in existence. The image of the world map and the various rectangles have been created by the authors of Prezi. We have accessed these elements and implemented them as per our requirements using the ‘Prezi’ archive. Thus, the extent to which we have made the invisible visible primarily involves applying pre-existing data to a visual template, allowing audiences to better connect and process the information being put forward. Law enforcers benefit from this visualisation as it helps to identify trends and patterns in drug use. The visualisation could be improved by making key information more prominent upon first glance before exploring it in more detail. Not a very large public would require access to this information however the human interest of this topic is valuable. Publishing such a visualisation will help identify any patterns in drug activity and can allow such activity to be better monitored and consequently ceased. This will allow for the betterment of a safer and more secure society. The benefits of having such data published as a visualisation allows a larger public audience to understand data, which may have been invisible to them, in a more visible way. A reason for the existence of visualisations is to condense mass amounts information into some kind of form which better communicates a message to audiences. Thus, presenting information on a trending issue in an effectively planned visualisation makes a difference by placing an effective impact on the larger population.
Data has the ability to open up so many different aspects of the media… the possibilities of reassemblage, modulation, and transduction opens the door to the potential interactions between various forms of data.
Over the past few weeks I have personally seen the huge role data plays in my life. Being given our visualization task and having the free range to research and present on any chosen topic, I saw the truth in a visualization having the ability to convert data from one form into another. It was quite evident to me that presenting data in a visual manner places a huge impact on our senses, shifting our individual experience when comprehending the facts placed in front of us. However, the fact of the matter is that essentially DATA is still the KEY!
In any shape, size or form we, as audiences, process the data presented to us. What helps are the forms of expression which “grab” the body and brain differently. This helps organize the audience experience, action and potential action differently. For example, increasing the interactivity of data allows the human brain to critically think and engage with content in a hyper-stimulated environment.
Fun Fact: Reading into the concepts of data and visualization, my mind wandered back to Week 1. iPads and e-readers were seen to be a development in the way children learn and how they are being currently educated with the assistance of such tools. But look at how it all connects, isn’t an iPad just another form of expression, where data (which is ALWAYS the key) is being presented in a stimulated, visual and interactive manner.
Further to this, is the process in which data moves can also be briefly summarized as below:
1. Data is extracted from a body or world or machine or a text
2. Data is then stored in an archive (hard drives, book shelves, etc)
3. Data is arranged with new forms of data (metadata) which then allows for new forms of expression and new forms of distribution or aggregation
UNSW Lecture Material – Visual Culture