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Data Art project sponsors

Data Art with BBC Backstage

Information Visualisation and the BBC

The Data Art project aims to introduce people to the power of information visualisation as a contemporary media form of increasing importance.

We are surrounded with information

In the past, various graphical aids for interpreting data have been used by governments and institutions for social planning. Data has been collected from the general population and used to implement decisions that affect it. In recent years however, there has been a shift toward greater information transparency with many institutions opening their data to the public in order to promote public engagement and foster creativity.

BBC Learning recognises that the interpretation of this data is an increasingly important skill for us all and in this spirit the BBC DataArt project provides public access to interactive data visualizations of the BBC’s online resources be they news information from around the world, web articles, music data or video. We will focus principally on BBC web sources but we will also be cross-referencing with other publicly available data.

So who is DataArt for?

DataArt aims to reach people who know little about visualisation but want to find out more, those looking at visualisation from an educational perspective and the existing developer community already engaged in producing their own work. In other words, we hope to bring new audiences to the area and also contribute new materials for visualisation practitioners to use on their own terms.

What are we providing?

For newcomers to the discipline we provide access to visualisations of BBC information resources and provide commentary text and video material that show you how to use, interpret and explore them. Wherever possible we have sought to avoid jargon and write in clear non-technical language.

Why not dive in and have a look at some of the visualisations we've already produced.

We have also a learning resources section of the website where you can find out more about the discipline of visualisation, its history and other useful research resources. If you need a quick overview of what visualisation is or have an interest in the historical evolution of the subject then this is a good place to start.

Learning resources can be found here.

More experienced practitioners may wish to skip these descriptions and either get straight into using the visualisations themselves or have a stab at customising them for their own projects. To help you do this we will provide tools, tutorials, computer code and access to copyright free data sources you can download and modify.

This material can be found on the coding resources page.

Stay tuned, we will be releasing more visualisations, learning materials, and other resources throughout 2010 and 2011. We will publicise these as and when they are released on the site and via our facebook presence.

Who are the DataArt team?

The Data Art project is a collaboration between BBC Learning Innovation and the Centre for Research in Education, Art and Media (CREAM) at the University of Westminster. The University of Westminster's contribution to this project is funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) and it will run over a period of 22 months that started on November 1st 2009.

Take a look at the team page to find out more about the people behind the project.