Visualizing processes

Each year we ask our students to visualize the protocol they followed.

We think that visualizing the way we collect data is important as representing the data itself: “how do you get this results”? is one of the most common questions that arise. Process communication is the first step to gather credit from our audience.

Each protocol isn’t a linear process: parts of it are “dead-ends”, they are experiments by which we try to understand if they’re or not useful for our purposes. Some visualizations simplify the process, removing the dead-end paths, and focusing on the final result. Some others represent all the work done, showing errors useful to identify the right solution. We choose some of them as examples of different way to visualize a protocol.


“Three Gorges Dam” protocol (→ full report)

This group included some ‘dead-ends’ of their protocol. Parts of their works indeed were useful to understand and interpret each phase’s results, even if they didn’t use them in the final report.


“Cape Wind” protocol (→ full report)

This group represented the protocol in a more compact view, identifying one major “break” point useful to set the protocol in the right direction.


“Pakistan Floods” protocol (→ full report)

In this case, students preferred to simplify the process keeping only phases useful to reach final results. They focused on the relations between original sources, digital tools used and visual models.


“Coastal Systems and Low Lying Areas” protocol (→ full report)

This group tried to keep the complexity of their protocol, showing all collected results. It is interesting to see that in the final report they didn’t present results in a temporal order, rearranging them in a more meaningful order for the reader.


“REDDography” protocol (→ full report)

This group described very deeply each phase of their protocol, including technical details making possible to reproduce the whole process.


“Tapping Cascade Locks” protocol (→ full report)

As suggested by Tommaso, we add also this visualization.

This group created a very long poster where protocol and results are visualized together. The poster works as a timeline, so in the bottom part you can see the reasearch protocol scheme, and in the upper part the results full description. To fully understand their work, it is useful to look at the full report PDF.



One Response to “Visualizing processes”

  1. When using non-standard protocols (and in particular the digital methods), it is indeed very important to show not only the results of the analysis and visualisation, but also the process that led to them.
    This will be crucial for EMAPS as well. In fact, the final platform will not only have to show the results of the project and its process, but also make available the data and the tools we used to its visitors. Such ‘open-source’ approach is essential if we want to build a communities around our platform.

    Just a final remark to Michele. Among the work of your students on the visualisation of protocols, I also liked a lot the report on ‘tap water’, where the process was presented together with the results. Could you add it to your post so that the other can see it as well?

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