Thursday, October 20, 2016

HabitatXChange & CityVis

This week Inclusive Maps won an award for the best student CityVis Visualization at the Habitat 3 conference in Quito, Ecuador. This conference was organized by the UN Habitat. The aim of this conference is to determines the future of urban development globally for the next 20 years. Read the beginners guide to the New Urban Agenda.

For us, the research team working on AIM, this is huge news. Not only we recognize that there is a growing interest in this particular topic. We also got useful feedback through this competition. Since the members of the jury are all well known characters in the world of data visualization we can rely on the feedback they gave us:

"Inclusive Maps is a great concepts for alternative maps, driving forward common concepts. I would love to see these maps live, my overall score just reflects the concept status."
and

"This is an excellent idea and proof of concept. While not necessarily innovative in its visualization methods, the idea of making maps that support navigation by users with diverse impairments and needs is an important consideration and increasingly possible with the data that cities are collecting."
and

"The project idea is quite impressive and the research conducted is admirable. Both the visualization options and the possible visualization categories associated with the project are very well executed. Moreover, it could be implemented in various cities regardless of cultural differences. Overall, its fit with the Visualizing Cities exhibition is undeniable."

These reviews are incredibly helpful for us to make the next steps. We now know that we need to do in the next steps. Since the reviewers got asked to rank along the following criteria using a scale ranging between 1 and 5 (from worst to best) we got a good picture on what we need to focus on. Here are some examples:

“Relevance: 5
Innovation: 4
Applicability: 5
Accessibility: 3”
“Relevance: 5
Innovation: 2
Applicability: 5
Accessibility: 3”

This makes clear that we have to shift the focus of our research towards accessibility. Although this is no big surprise (we basically only have images of visualizations) we now are backed by reliable feedback for further decision making in the research process.