06-06-2023 11:25 TEKNOLOJİ



Data physicalization, a new field of research, aims to facilitate the discovery, understanding and communication of data through physical representations. This research area focuses on the use of new technologies to facilitate the construction of these representations.


What is Information?


Information is transformed data. Information represents the result of the analysis process. We can also call information a product. One or more of the data will have been analyzed and followed a process that resulted in knowledge. The information obtained should have a logical meaning and be reliable.


Reliable information supports you in decision making, research and analysis. Results from upstream collected data represent real added value. In order to objectify knowledge, it is important to analyze and explain in a way that everyone can understand.


What is Data?

Data is raw information without context, fact without background. It cannot be transmitted as is, it must be processed. Raw data can take different forms. This can be numeric, textual data, or a mix of text and figures. It can also be a table or graph.


In order for data to be usable and have real value, it must go through a process. A data is an input in the transformation process. The result of this transformation process is the output. That is, the output is the final information.


The need to visualize data goes back to early civilizations. Representations of physical data such as Mesopotamian clay tokens are one example. Their feature is that they can be freely manipulated and rearranged.


The invention of clay tablets and subsequent paper greatly facilitated the complexity, fabrication, and dissemination of visual representations of data. But it also made them tangible. They are readable.


Later, computer graphics merged with automatic rendering. It offered a new way through interaction that opened up endless possibilities for data exploration.


However, interactive visualizations remain virtual. They are confined to a two-dimensional space and controlling them requires prior learning.


With the democratization of its laboratories, physical representations are back. They are available in the form of data sculptures in many science and art museums, as well as in online educational videos.


At the same time, a new field of scientific research emerged. Data physicalization has a second purpose.

It is examining the unique advantages brought by physical representations of data and understanding how to make the most of their potential.


Digital manufacturing is far from being the only opportunity offered by new technologies. Recent advances in human-computer interaction, such as motorized tangible interfaces or shape displays, have paved the way for new approaches to physicalize data.


Data can take physical form while being dynamic. (physical surfaces that can change shape rapidly)


On the other hand, these technologies also bring technical difficulties as there is currently no device that can take any physical form and any visual appearance.

Opportunities Offered to the Public


Data physicalization aims to facilitate the discovery, understanding and communication of data through its physical and digital representations. It is an area of ​​research at the intersection of tangible computing and information visualization.


This area is still very new, but is especially important for engaging the general public and promoting data literacy.


Data availability is increasing. However, their understanding and use by the general public remains a challenge. Physical representations can be a gateway because they are attractive.


Democratizing its labs also allows the general public to go further by creating their own representations of data. It is possible to come across physicalizations not only in museums, but also in schools, universities, workplaces and even homes.


Dr.Yaşam Ayavefe

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