What science has to say
Scientists Ralph Lengler and Martin J. Eppler of the University of Lugano define visualisation methods as follows:
‘A systematic, rule-based, external, permanent and graphic representation which presents information in a way which promotes and further develops insight and understanding or communicates experience.’
Lengler and Eppler started the Visual Literacy project and developed a periodic system (see Figure 2-3) that provides an overview of the different kinds of visualisation and their methods.
Figure 2-3 displays the periodic system of visualisation methods (on the internet at
). By clicking on each of the elements displayed in the periodic system at the website you can call up examples and further information.
Lengler and Eppler distinguish between the following kinds of visualisation methods:
Methods for visualising quantitative data: For example, a pie chart, which may already be familiar to you from Excel files.
Methods for visualising information: Information is more than just data. Data contain no hint as to their use. Information is typically connected with a particular ...