At the end, I tried to make a more general point, which is of big importance to me, and which I would like to expand on in the following: You will often hear these days, that data visualization is great for “telling stories”, to “make the complex simple” or to “make boring facts exciting”. While this all true to some degree, I think it misses the greatest quality of data visualization today: to provide us with new kinds of “glasses” to see the world.
Joel de Rosnay described a fascinating, futuristic device in 1979: the macroscope. Just like the telescope allows us to see far beyond what our eyes would allow us, into the depths of space, and the microscope allows us to look at the infinitely small, a device called macroscope could allow us to investigate the infinitely complex: society, and nature.
— Well-formed data » Worlds, not stories (via dadatavis)