Toward the Visualization of History: The Past as Image

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It may also be used, rightly or wrongly, to help persuade someone with data. As the volume of data available to us increases exponentially in every field of endeavor — information visualization is becoming increasingly important as a skill in the workplace and in academia. March 28, Designers often need to convey information to the users of their designs. Specialists in information visualization design in particular find themselves presenting data over and over again to their users. Designing information visualizations offers you endless possibilities when it comes to end products and it would be impossible to provide step-by-step instructions for all these possibilities.

However, it is fair to say that while the end products may vary dramatically — the process by which we reach the best possible end product is consistently A preattentive visual property is one which is processed in spatial memory without our conscious action. In essence it takes less than milliseconds for the eye and the brain to process a preattentive property of any image.

This is good news for information visualization designers and graphic designers in more general terms too — it means tha Information visualization requires mapping data in a visual or occasionally auditory format for the user of the visualization. When thinking about visualization of research results, many people will automatically have an image of a graph in mind.

Do you have that image, too? You would be right in thinking that many research results benefit from a graph-like visualization, showing trends and anomalies. But this is mainly true for results from quantitative user research. Focus groups have long been a popular tool in market research and have become more popular in user research in the recent past too. The moderator will pose questions from a script to the group. Their answers are recorded, sometimes by the moderato It is important to know that while neuroscience has progressed dramatically over the last decades; there is no complete understanding of how human memory works.

Thus when it comes to understandin Information visualization is not as easy as it might first appear, particularly when you are examining complex data sets. While this may be a subjective area of information visualization and, of course, there are exceptions to t Hierarchical data is essentially a specialized form of network data — in that while entities within the dataset do not have dependent relationships; they are all related to each other by the principle of containment.

They, unlike standard data networks, do not use the principle of connection. A hierarchy begins with a root entity. This might be t Depending on the object of study, it uses in particular methods of art history, media and communication science. In the past few years, visual productions and practices have gained the attention of German-speaking contemporary historians and have changed their research interests, topics, their work and presentation methods, so that David F.

Crew could state in the Journal "German History" in "Yet German Historians have only recently begun to pay serious attention to the politics of images.

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This has been encouraged by several, mutually reinforcing developments: first and foremost the technological quantum leap of the world wide web and a collaterally looming paradigm shift within history studies. As a result, historians have had completely new possibilities of image research at their disposal for merely the last ten years. This has tremendously encouraged the readiness to open up to visual sources of history.

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This is part of a general paradigm shift, especially in a generation of younger historians, who have grown up with modern visual media and for whom the dominance of the written word seems to have been replaced by the hegemony of images. This paradigm shift results from the fact that contemporary historiography today is in essence historiography of media society [8] , which — as a consequence of the great visual revolutions of the 20th and early 21st century in the political and social realm — consequently also has to deal with visual testimonies. All this has increased the willingness of contemporary historians to make images sources and independent elements of historical research.

Their living environment was and is determined by the everyday presence of audiovisuals, their experience of reality also conveyed by the sounds of records and radio, the pictures in illustrated magazines, the moving sound pictures in newsreels, movies and television. As a result, the increased importance of the media has also changed "the mode of construction of history as well as the role of the academic historian.

Overall, three developments and foci in newer historical studies of images can be distinguished, which partly replace each other, partly superimpose and partly correspond to differing understandings of images: images as sources, images as media and images as generative powers. Drawing on older research of historic images, particularly established in medieval studies and early modern history [16] , in which images, for a long time and on a high level, have been used as sources and objects of historical knowledge [17] , newer endeavors primarily strove to develop images as additional sources in contemporary history research which it was hitherto lacking, for historic research questions often inspired by cultural science, as well as for sources of contemporary perspectives, for social and cultural points of view, to use them as media of interpretation and thus also as sources of the history of memory.

Even in , Irmgard Wilharm complained that the truism that cultural transmission is carried out not only through the written word, but increasingly through images, was far from being generally accepted by historians. Jahrhunderts": "Reflection on three-thousand years of evolved image culture in Europe has for a long time been delegated from history studies to art historians. A look at the composition and content of Andreas Wirsching's textbook, "Neueste Geschichte," published in , shows that this is more than a mere temporary fad.

He writes on the extended canon of historic sources: " In addition to classic recorded history, media of all kinds have come into view. And complementing the still dominating written sources, figurative, physical and — in contemporary history — oral sources oral history have emerged.

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A positive aspect of this development is that the whole field of moving and static images is gaining the attention of historians. An additional positive feature is that in dealing with images in general and photographs in particular as sources of historiographic insight, no close-knit methodology has established itself, but rather a method pluralism is practiced, which, depending on the objects of investigation, uses iconographic-iconological methods, semiotic approaches, as well as sociological methods.

Hartewig has yielded a wealth of convincing documentaries, illustrations and analysis, especially in the areas of social, military and revolutionary history, the history of domination, education and everday life. Even though it is commonplace in modern history didactics for contemporary images to be on an equal footing with historic written sources and they in no way constitute an accurate copy of historical reality but require interpretation and ideology-critical decryption, [26] this approach does not yet reflect practice in school history lessons and textbooks.

To date, images are primarily used as eye-catchers, stopgaps or pure illustrations, and furthermore the majority of captions are insufficient or utterly wrong and images retouched and cropped. However, progress in history didactics can be seen and images are increasingly used as sources to acquire image historical competence [27] and in methods of interpreting visual sources caricatures, posters, photographs, movies.

Despite this progress in analysis and use of images as sources, desiderates and problems remain. The focus of historical image research on the static image in the form of paintings, posters and photographs is not only justified. In fact, it also expresses a vague fear of the moving images of movies [29] and electronic images of television that have yet to see convincing historiographic research efforts and forms of publication that do justice to the aesthetic characteristics and qualities of these media.

These significant gaps, however, can also be seen in the field of photo-historical research. Just as even a systematic exploration of the history of photography and picture-taking between and in particular and a comprehensive analysis of the national-socialist use of images in general are lacking to date.

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Furthermore, the academic debate on photography is still strongly shaped by a national focus. Intercultural comparisons such as the analysis of World War I war images in German and French newspapers and magazines or research into war photography in Spanish and French magazines during the Spanish Civil War [34] are still scarce.

Finally, other static visual sources such as postage stamps have hardly received attention from historic image research, even though they force themselves on historic-political cultural research. Several image historic publications, as well as the use of images in history classes, show that images are rarely looked at as a self-referential system with a significant aesthetic quality and a unique meaning of their own, which do not primarily function as a symbol to point to something outside of the image, but rather refer to themselves.


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By looking at external references, the image and its self-reference no longer find themselves at the center of historiographic considerations. The image remains solely a window into another world and at best functions as a trigger. It should not be delegated to art history, but should be integrated constitutively into historiographic image research.

Seldom have images with their specific aesthetics found themselves to be objects of investigation as independent and active areas of the political and cultural and as an interpreting medium. Since the s and 90s, impulses to broaden the approach to the visuality of history as an independent research area, as well as of the image as a communicative medium and a self-referential aesthetic system, have come mainly from the related fields of teaching, research and work, both at home and abroad, such as the Anglo-Saxon visual culture studies and art history.

In the s, particularly memory studies emphasized the relevance of images as "driving forces of tradition" and "myth machines," as well as the mediality of historic references. Most notably, Horst Bredekamp, with his notion of the "active image" and his recent studies, fueled the iconic turn within history studies. According to him, historians, together with large portions of art history, are part of a tradition leading back to Plato and his Allegory of the Cave, which describes images as epiphenomena.

Images, however, are not epiphenomena. They do not duplicate, but rather create what they show. At the Konstanzer Historikertag , Bredekamp vehemently made historians take note of this autonomous power of the aesthetic as a unique factor that contributes to history. Since the s, history studies have, at first tentatively, dealt with the "constructive contribution" of images.

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For example, it is stated in a newer anthology: "Historical or historiographical images, respectively, will in the future have to be analyzed and examined objectively beyond their relevance as source material, with a stronger focus on their function in historical culture and regarding their specific strategies and intentions. Their inherent capacity to deconstruct possible history narratives will grow more important in the future.

For the analysis and use of images, this also includes taking images as active entities more seriously: as "driving forces of tradition" and "myth machines," that is to say as media of politics of history and memory which generate and carry a certain interpretation of history.

The first persons to demonstrate this for history and memory politics in larger publications were Cornelia Brink in her pioneering study on "Ikonen der Vernichtung" "Icons of Destruction" on the public use of photographs of the Nazi concentration camps in post-war Germany [51] and Habbo Knoch in his voluminous work "The Act as Image" on the history of memory of National Socialism. Studies on the varying visual practices, that is to say on the social, political and cultural use of images as they are numerously found in cultural studies, [55] are still the exception within history studies.

Similar things can be said of studies on the visual exercise of power such as snapshot practices during World War II, the use of images in National Socialist ruling institutions regarding the deportation of Jews or the defamation of the assassins of July 20, in front of the "People's Court. In contrast to Anglo-Saxon countries, there are currently only a few historiographic studies on the role of the image in collective identity formation processes.

These would have to consider that visual culture [60] has not only become a central element of people's daily routines in the 20th and early 21st century, but also a form of being of everyday life. Mitchell, "politics are conducted. It addresses the photography of the Weimar Republic, the photographic portrayal of competitive sports in the GDR, the observation of the transit highway, photography in factories, as well as the search for "Eigen-Sinn" stubborn self-reliance stubbo in the amateur photography of the GDR.

Comparable studies on the visual cultures of the Weimar Republic, National Socialism and the Federal Republic before and after from a historical perspective are missing and desirable. High-throughput screening HTS techniques have enabled large scale image-based studies, but extracting biological insights from the imaging data in an exploratory setting remains a challenge.

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Existing packages for this task either require expert annotations, which can bias the outcome of the study, or are completely unsupervised, failing to leverage the information present in the assay design. We present HTX, an interactive tool to aid in the exploration of large microscopy data sets by allowing the visualization of entire image-based assays according to visual similarities between the samples in an intuitive and navigable manner.

Underlying HTX are a collection of novel algorithmic techniques for deep texture descriptor learning, 2D data visualization, adversarial suppression of batch effects, and backprop-based image saliency estimation. We demonstrate that HTX can exploit the screen meta-data in order to learn screen-specific image descriptors, which are then used to quantify the visual similarity between samples in the assay. Given these similarities and the different visualization resources of HTX, it is shown that screens of small-molecule libraries on cell data can be easily explored, reproducing the results of previous studies where highly-specific domain knowledge was required.

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