Data visualizations are often claimed to have the power to change the world. This chapter argues that to understand this power we need to consider the uses to which visualizations have been put. Using visualizations relating to abortion as a case study alongside Klein and D’Ignazio’s notion of a ‘missing bodies problem’ in data visualization, I argue that visualizations tell a narrow story, removing contextual detail and omitting to ask questions important to women’s health. To grasp the significance of this I propose a new missing body problem: the neglect of the viewer and those affected by decisions taken based on visualized data. Far from being a simple device to graphically display numerical data, therefore, there is a good deal at stake in data visualization.
|Title of host publication||Data Visualization in Society|
|Editors||Martin Engebretsen, Helen Kennedy|
|Place of Publication||Amsterdam|
|Publisher||Amsterdam University Press|
|Number of pages||15|
|Publication status||Published - 16 Apr 2020|