Visualizing Historical Book Trade Data: An Iterative Design Study with Close Collaboration with Domain Experts

Yiwen Xing, Cristina Dondi, Rita Borgo, Alfie Abdul-Rahman

Room: 109

2023-10-25T03:24:00ZGMT-0600Change your timezone on the schedule page
Exemplar figure, described by caption below
In our work, we introduce DanteExploreVis, a Visual Analytic (VA) tool designed to assist historians in exploring, explaining, and presenting book trade data. This timeline provides a thorough overview of the design process behind DanteExploreVis. It traces the stages of interface evolution, labeled I1 through I8, and highlights key sketches, indicated as S1 to S7, from each design iteration. Beyond a visual aid, this figure offers an in-depth narrative that emphasizes the crucial moments, decisions, and methodological adaptations we incorporated throughout our design study.
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Design study, application motivated visualization, geospatial data


The circulation of historical books has always been an area of interest for historians. However, the data used to represent the journey of a book across different places and times can be difficult for domain experts to digest due to buried geographical and chronological features within text-based presentations. This situation provides an opportunity for collaboration between visualization researchers and historians. This paper describes a design study where a variant of the Nine-Stage Framework was employed to develop a Visual Analytics (VA) tool called DanteExploreVis. This tool was designed to aid domain experts in exploring, explaining, and presenting book trade data from multiple perspectives. We discuss the design choices made and how each panel in the interface meets the domain requirements. We also present the results of a qualitative evaluation conducted with domain experts. The main contributions of this paper include: 1) the development of a VA tool to support domain experts in exploring, explaining, and presenting book trade data; 2) a comprehensive documentation of the iterative design, development, and evaluation process following the variant Nine-Stage Framework; 3) a summary of the insights gained and lessons learned from this design study in the context of the humanities field; and 4) reflections on how our approach could be applied in a more generalizable way.