Information Visualization Historical overview slides – 2001

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In the year 2001 I gave a short lecture at TAMK (Tampere Polytechnic) about the history of Information Visualization. The objective was to show that InfoViz was not a new discipline but rather the visual communication between people started many of thousands of years ago already.

Another important point was that similar forms of communication happened roughly around the same time in different and perhaps isolated areas on our planet. I  like to be careful about concluding something as I simply do not believe we know enough about anything yet. But it looks as if some important ideas are reached by different people around the same time for maybe a good (or bad) reason.

The good reason might be to help us further in our evolution as human beings. The bad reason might be to stifle the evolution or progress of the other in their revolution. My site is not a academic treaty with references and links but rather a hotchpotch of own ideas inspired by ideas of other people or other entities (time&space) completely.

Regardless of all that, seeing this old .pdf brought back slivers of memory about me seeing more and more patterns and cycles in our history. Edward Dewey did extensive research in the previous century and nowadays there are many but Martin Armstrong is one that fascinates me a lot.

The presentation I found is in .pdf format and while converting it I ran into a few technical errors such as words mangled up and characters converted into something they should not be. I could salvage a lot of the text but had to create a new time line. Also, the dates are not correct anymore and I doubt they will ever be correct anyway.

Much has been back dated since and much more information has come to light as well about the subject matter. The text therefor should be considered as … well whatever.

But while I was doing this I got renewed interest in this subject. Wouldn’t it be great to do a good historical overview of Service Design. My philosophical beginning would be to define service design as a form of “offering a service to, or , serving another human being”.

What come to mind is art and trade as most basic forms. Thus how would art and trade have evolved over the thousands if not millions of years?  In any case, one can dream right?

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Jeroen