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Visualizing Meaning

There's a really cool project just down the road from me at Cornell: Visualizing Meaning, which asks Cornell profs to submit an answer to the following question:

Of the many charts (graph, map, diagram, table and ‘other’) you have seen in your life, which has been the most important, remarkable, meaningful or valuable?

It's not a question bound to result in a huge range of answers in our own discipline, unfortunately, but browsing through the various submissions is an interesting process. I do wish that the index were tagged with a little more information than where the person lands alphabetically among Cornell's at-the-time-1943 faculty members (I assume that #s 1943-1982 are new faculty), but the lack of information prompted me to browse more generally, so I guess it's okay.

The question doesn't necessarily require a disciplinary answer, but as I think about it, I come up with few answers. I could certainly borrow illustrations from Tufte, Wurman, or other visual rhetoric oriented texts, but beyond communication models (Jakobson, Shannon/Weaver, Kinneavy), it's hard for me to recall specifically disciplinary charts that I might submit to a project like this. Porter and Sullivan's Opening Spaces or Clay's Tracing Genres Through Organizations pop to mind, but little else.



Sounds very interesting. Figuring out the most valuable, etc., will take me some time, given my age. I can recall all kinds of graphs and visuals, but ranking their importance? That's the tricky thing. In terms of our discipline, there's always the good old diagrammed sentence, but I always found that hard to follow. Would outlining fit in the mix?

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