最近、データを可視化するっていうことに興味がある。

 

 

これはFacebookのプロフィールで「破局」にステータスを変更した数を示したものだ。春になると関係を清算して、クリスマス明けが最も低くなってて興味深い。

 

提案でもよくデータを引用したりするほか、ニュースでも◯億円の予算が云々なんていうかたちで数字がでてくるけど、ホントに大事なのは、その数字がどんな文脈で現れていて何を示してるのかを読み解くことのほう。相対的な関係性や大きさを誰にでも分かるカタチでシートに描くことができたらなあといつも思っています。

データを可視化すること。そこにデザイン的な要素も加わればなおいいよね。なので最近デザイン系でデータ整理の書籍がないか探してたりします。

 

David McCandless: The beauty of data visualization

 

関連したビジュアルも紹介。

イラク戦争は2010年8月31日、オバマ米大統領によって正式に終結が宣言された。2004〜2009年までにおける戦争による死者は、約10万9千人で、うち約6万6千人が民間人なんだそうだ。

 

これは先日、イラク戦争を巡る米軍などの機密文書約40万件を公表した、インターネットの世界に突如、現れた内部告発サイト「ウィキリークス」から資料提供を受けた英紙ガーディアンによる、「イラク戦争で死亡した方々をプロットした地図」。

 

 

上のシンプルなピクセル図は、イラク戦争の死者数を表しています。

青いピクセルは、「仲間(米軍、連合軍)」の死者、緑のピクセルは「ホスト国(イラク軍)」の死者、グレーは「敵(反乱軍)」の死者、そしてオレンジは民間人を表してる。

 

・Data & Design How-to’s Note 5: Get the idea | Drawing by Numbers

‘Function’ shows data from the US military ‘SigActs’ database which was obtained and made public by Wikileaks. It shows civilians and military personnel killed in military engagements involving coalition forces in the Iraq war between 2004 and the end of 2009. “I try not to tell people what to think about it; let them form their own impressions!” says Kamal Makloufi, the French Canadian designer who in his spare time created this work. The images were republished in a number of high profile media outlets, including The New Yorker. “I never thought that it would have such an impact. It got so many comments after I posted it online. I don’t really know why this picture was printed, shared and why it was so widely commented on. I don’t know why this picture worked. I’m still trying to find out why it was so popular”.

Makloufi’s images create two different narratives of the Iraq war from the original Wikileaks data. The image on the right side shows deaths as they happened over time as they were reported in the military’s database, plotted in rows starting at the top left and running left to right. The result is a confusing mess of colour that looks like the screen of a television with no signal. The clearer image on the left, that looks like an abstract painting, presents the same data. This time it is not shown over time but grouped by the characteristics of those killed. It reveals precisely what the other one conceals: a simple and memorable truth that civilian deaths massively outweigh military ones. Neither image would work as well on their own, but the difference between them allows people to contrast two narratives about the Iraq war.

The work also shows that a simple technique can give meaning to the huge amount of data on display without having to select or reduce it. It creates a moment of realisation for the viewers that they can comprehend something important about this complex, and highly politicised issue. It is the contrast between the two views that both makes the viewer think about the percentage of civilian deaths and at the same time raise questions about the problem of data presentation and the influence this has on our understanding of the shape of a problem.