Visualization tools allow humanists make sense of large sets of data in the form of graphs, charts, infographics, information dashboards, and more. By using quantitative data taken from artifacts such as texts and maps or demographic data such as surveys and census results, humanists can support more traditional types of qualitative research by embedding information visualizations into their writing and presentations. Visualization tools can aid in the discovery of larger patterns related to artifacts that they would not be able to see simply by looking at the data. However, the visualizations can also obscure information or reinforce biases and silences in the data. Therefore, an important component of the digital humanities scholarship is using a critical lens to “close read” information visualizations and the datasets they depict.
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