[Visualisation: Thom, Katie, Annalise and Lisa’s visualisation project.]
In our visualisation project we sought to make data about the ecological impact of the Maules Creek Mine in north-western NSW accessible to a wider audience.
The data has been gathered from a wide range of technical and lengthy documents, that an ordinary person would not have the time or inclination to trawl through.
Obviously we have politicised the data by choosing and arranging it with the intention of convincing the audience that the mine’s ecological impact on the unique Leard State Forest (where the mine is being constructed) will have disastrous consequences for the environment.
However, the facts are incredibly powerful – for example there is only 0.1 per cent of the type of habitat found at the Leard State Forest remaining in Australia. This is why they work well in a visualisation.
Through the use of visual techniques such as contrast, colour, juxtaposition and a generally pleasing aesthetic the data can not only be conveyed in a way that is easily digestible for the audience, but also couched within other techniques designed to influence their interpretation of what that data actually means.
Essentially we have made visible data that is obscured by complex and lengthy documents, spread across a large range of sources, and arranging them in a way that enables the reader to grasp the ecological disaster that the mine will cause.