Data Visualization

For my data visualization project, I decided to use Tableau to graph the data I had accumulated for my thesis.

https://public.tableau.com/profile/patrick.shank#!/

 

The data is the number of times various themes and topics were drawn in naval Cold War cartoons found in the digitized records of the All Hands magazine from the years 1946 through 1960.

The data was organized into five difference visualizations using tableau in order to see the how different graphs can affect the message of the data. For instance the first bar graph shows how a number of topics occurred about the same, revealing a consistency in the topics, while the second bar graph reveals to a greater extent how little the theme of death and violence was drawn compared to the other themes. Thus even how one organizes the axis on a graph can have a profound effect on the reading of the data. This is seen further in the other three visualizations as the bubble graph does not reveal much information since it is difficult to judge the change of scale from one circle to another. However, the tree map on the other hand makes it much easier to see how topics on women and officers take up a large number of cartoons. Indeed, the pie chart shows this the best since it shows how the relation theme is about 50% of the drawings.

From graph to graph I tried to keep the labels, colors, and descriptions consistent so that the focus would be on how the graph themselves communicate the information. While using the same data, the five graphs show how they can emphasis different information. The tree map and first bar graph both do a good job of showing how each topic and to a lesser extent theme compare against each other, while the second bar graph and pie chart are better for showing the variation in theme. The bubble graph, while visually appealing does not convey as much info since it seems to obscure the since of the women and officer topics compared to the other topics and thus would be the least useful in trying to communicate the data to the user.

The use of visualizations to communicate this data is important because it reveals that while the sailors enjoyed drawing a wide range of topics, there were certain topics and overarching themes that they connected with more than others. This information can thus allow us to better understand the sailors’ worldviews and how they understood their place in the Navy.

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