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The International Encyclopedia of Media Studies, 7 Volume Set by Fabienne Darling-Wolf, Radhika Parameswaran, Erica Scharrer, Vicki Mayer, Sharon Mazzarella, Kelly Gates, John Nerone, Angharad N. Valdivia

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4

Media Visualization

Visual Techniques for Exploring Large Media Collections

Lev Manovich

ABSTRACT

Over the last 20 years, information visualization became a common tool in science and also a growing presence in the arts and culture at large. This chapter outlines a taxonomy of new visualization techniques particularly useful for media research, what Manovich calls “media visualization.” Where information visualization involves translating the world into numbers and then visualizing the relationship between those numbers, media visualization involves translating a set of images into another image that can reveal patterns that might not otherwise be apparent in the collection of images. Using the open source image processing software called ImageJ (normally used in medical research and other scientific fields), Manovich and his collaborators have designed a set of tools for media visualization that can be used by other researchers interested in exploring large sets of images, even without knowing exactly what they are looking for beforehand. The techniques outlined here are based on the work in visualization of patterns in cinema, TV, animation, videogames, and other media carried out in the Software Studies Initiative at the University of California, San Diego.

Some of the illustrations for this chapter are available only online at:

http://lab.softwarestudies.com/p/media-visualizations-illustrations.html.

Introduction: How to Work with Massive Media Data Sets

Early twenty-first-century ...

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