A-Z Challenge: K — Knowledge Visualization

What comes into your mind when you hear the words “Knowledge Visualization”? Take a few seconds and think about it.

A mind map? A graph? Colour-coded notes?


The process of Knowledge Visualization is like a loop. Rather than ticking boxes of a To-Do-List, the steps of gathering, interpreting, developing, organizing and understanding information are all interconnected and inform each other. A group of eight experts in the field of Knowledge Visualization state in their 2011 paper that ‘in fact the visual often provides so much insight that our knowledge changes and thus the visual needs to change creating a fascinating recursive loop’. (Bertschi et al., 2011)

Knowledge Visualization can overcome the limitations of textual/verbal communication and of visual representations alone. Through the use of spatial distribution, it leverages on both the textual and the visual abilities of the brain to express meaning

Sabrina Bresciani, assistant professor at the School of Management of the University of St. Gallen (Switzerland) Tweet

Bresciani’s observation expresses that visualizing knowledge requires the structuring of both the text and the visuals in meaningful ways. However, she goes on to warn that ‘visualizing knowledge is not without risks. Typical challenges and mistakes committed while creating or using knowledge visualization include […] oversimplification and ambiguity of meaning’. (Bertschi et al., 2011) These challenges can be overcome with time and practice as well as a focus on the target audience.

Written by Monja StahlbergerIMLR PhD Candidate

Check out the other A-Z Challenge participants as well!

2 Comments

  1. Aha!
    When driving (or walking somewhere new), I’d rather be told “pass the next two traffic lights. A Starbucks will be on the right: turn right there. Continue past three stops signs. Yep. You’re there.”

    None of that “in 500 ft, turn left” business. Visuals, people. Visuals.

  2. […] Knowledge Visualisation tools such as X-Mind to our favourite methods of note taking and ways to best manage your time, we have […]

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