Visual Methodologies for Networked Images: Designing Visualizations for Collaborative Research, Cross-platform Analysis, and Public Participation

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Sabine Niederer
Gabriele Colombo


In this paper we present visual methodologies attuned to the networked nature of digital images. First, we describe approaches to image research in which images are not separated from their network, but rather studied en groupe. Here, we contrast approaches that treat images as data, and those that regard images as content. Second, we focus on the production of images for digital research, presenting three of their functions: a) the creation of diagrams that facilitate collaboration in interdisciplinary research teams; b) the use of visualizations for cross-platform image analysis; and c) designing images for public participation. Most importantly, such visualizations are not used to form the esthetic culmination of analytical work, but are rather functional tools for digital research that serve parts of the entire research process, from its formulation and operationalization to the engagement of a broader public.

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How to Cite
Niederer, S., & Colombo, G. (2019). Visual Methodologies for Networked Images: Designing Visualizations for Collaborative Research, Cross-platform Analysis, and Public Participation. Diseña, (14), 40–67.
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Author Biographies

Sabine Niederer, Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences

Sabine Niederer is professor of Visual Methodologies at the faculty of Digital Media and Creative Industries of the Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences. In 2014, she founded the Citizen Data Lab as an applied research lab specializing in participatory mapping of local issues. She is a founding member of the Digital Methods Initiative, the new media research program at the University of Amsterdam, where she obtained her PhD in 2016. Sabine has produced conferences, books and exhibitions on new media, art and digital culture and her work has been published in peer-reviewed journals, conference proceedings and edited volumes.

Gabriele Colombo, Politecnico di Milano

Gabriele Colombo is a research fellow at Density Design, a research lab at the Design Department of Politecnico di Milano. In 2018 he obtained a PhD cum laude from Politecnico di Milano. His research focuses on the design of visualizations in support of digital social research. Gabriele is founding member of the Visual Methodologies Collective at the Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences and has a long-standing collaboration with the Digital Methods Initiative at the University of Amsterdam.

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