Abstract

Emerging approaches in social sciences and new media studies involve inquiry into social issues via the web. By collecting, analysing and visualising digital traces (i.e. posts, tweets, comments), a “issue map” can be created in order to make visible and understandable the network of the actors involved and their position in any public debate. Drawing on experiences gathered during a European project, we identified a two-phases-approach for the creation of issue maps. In the two phases - exploration and communication - visualisations play a key role, with two different connotations: in the first, they act as analytical devices used by researchers. In the second, they become communicative artefacts for a larger public. In this paper, we describe how we defined this approach, outlining the theoretical background and its connections with communication design. We highlight the main criticalities found in designing the issue maps before finally presenting our results.

Keywords:

Communication design, information visualisation, issue mapping, controversy mapping, digital methods

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License

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Jun 17th, 12:00 AM

Designing diagrams for social issues

Emerging approaches in social sciences and new media studies involve inquiry into social issues via the web. By collecting, analysing and visualising digital traces (i.e. posts, tweets, comments), a “issue map” can be created in order to make visible and understandable the network of the actors involved and their position in any public debate. Drawing on experiences gathered during a European project, we identified a two-phases-approach for the creation of issue maps. In the two phases - exploration and communication - visualisations play a key role, with two different connotations: in the first, they act as analytical devices used by researchers. In the second, they become communicative artefacts for a larger public. In this paper, we describe how we defined this approach, outlining the theoretical background and its connections with communication design. We highlight the main criticalities found in designing the issue maps before finally presenting our results.

 

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