Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Reaction: Understanding Charts and Graphs

The above article showcases a way of analyzing the information in charts and graphs. It describes a set of principles that should be adhered to if a chart or graph is to be effective. The article concentrates on graphically representing quantitative information and relations among discrete entities.

The paper initially begins by outlining the key elements of the above analytic scheme. It states that the key components of a Basic level graph are background, the framework, the specifier and the labels. It further analyses the interrelations among the basic level constituents at three levels of analysis.

The paper then introduces the evaluative procedure. The author talks about the two roots of these evaluative procedures. The first root is concerned with how humans process information and how this knowledge can aid us in diagnosing bad displays. The second root is concerned with how effectively symbols can be represented to convey accurate meanings.

The paper finally develops the acceptability principles which are used to diagnose problems with charts or graphs. This includes specific questions about the representation that should be answerable if the graph is unambiguous.

The paper finally considers an example to depict the above three stages and defines every key element required for the analytic scheme. I found that it required several scans of the paper to get a complete understanding of what the author was saying. The paper tries to put in a lot of detailed information of every single concept.