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Modern society is often referred to as 'the information society' - but how can we make sense of all the information we are bombarded with? In this free course, Visualisation: Visual representations of data and information, you will learn how to interpret, and in some cases create, visual representations of data and information that help us to see things in a different way.
After studying this course, you should be able to:
- understand what is meant by the term ‘visualisation’ within the context of data and information
- interpret and create a range of visual representations of data and information
- recognise a range of visualisation models such as cartograms, choropleth maps and hyperbolic trees
- select an appropriate visualisation model to represent a given data set
- recognise when visualisations are presenting information in a misleading way.
- Current section: Introduction
- Learning outcomes
- 1 Before you begin your study
- 2 The most common spreadsheet charts
- 3 Cheating with charts
- 4 Hierarchical data
- 5 Geographical data
- 6 Multi-dimensional data
- 7 Some caveats
- 8 Conclusion
- 9 Taking it further (optional material)
- Keep on learning
Study this free course
Enrol to access the full course, get recognition for the skills you learn, track your progress and on completion gain a statement of participation to demonstrate your learning to others. Make your learning visible!
Visualisation: Visual representations of data and information
How many times a day do you hear it said that we are drowning in a sea of information? As the cost of computer data storage goes down, it becomes easier and cheaper to store ever more data about ever more things, from corporate information to personal data – yet how are we ever to make sense of all this data and uncover some of the potentially valuable information it contains?
Visualisation can help. This is because, of all the human senses, the visual sense is one of the most powerful. In this course, you will learn how to interpret, and in some cases create, visual representations of data and information that display a wide range of data sets in a meaningful way.
This OpenLearn course provides a sample of level 2 study in
Copyright & revisions
Originally published: Wednesday, 19th August 2015
Last updated on: Wednesday, 19th August 2015
- Creative-Commons: The Open University is proud to release this free course under a Creative Commons licence. However, any third-party materials featured within it are used with permission and are not ours to give away. These materials are not subject to the Creative Commons licence. See terms and conditions. Full details can be found in the Acknowledgements and our FAQs section.
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