HIS 218
Unit 12: Data Visualization

A stone-tower with a bit of a lean to it. Photo courtesy Jambaar Stills.
Blue Separator Bar

Short introduction

We are going to explore here a potentially very important tool for historians, data visualization (DV). In DV, statistics/data are displayed in a visual format that allows for easier recognition and interpretation of historical patterns. There are some digital tools available on the web that allow DV, but in many cases you still have to know some coding to make a web-based DV.

What you must do in this unit


  • Post on your blog (10 points), (a) an update about your project status, including a first draft available for feedback and (b) suggest some online data sets, particularly relating to Virginia history if possible, that can be used for this project.
  • Submit the URL of your blog post on Canvas for grading.
  • Submit the data visualization assignment (150 points), if you've chosen to do this assignment. If you are in the Historic Preservation program, then I would prefer that your visualization focus on some set of Northern Virginia historical data.
  • Post on the discussion board an update of your proposal, including the URL to your first draft.

Extra credit options

  • Please suggest any online materials relevant to this unit of the course.

Unit learning objectives

  • Upon successful completion of this unit, you will be able to (1) understand the principles of data visualization and (2) manipulate and interpret historical data and statistics using a visualization tool.

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