Data visualization can bring distributed social and technical relationships into view for professionals who study, design, or operate within complex computer-human systems. In traditional studies of computer-human relationships, qualitative and quantitative data are kept separate; sensor data and numerical calculations are graphed and charted, while human communications and interactions remain unseen. We believe a common format for examining both quantitative and qualitative data can reveal the multi-channel interactions in teams of humans and machines. Using the historical example of the 1969 Apollo 11 moon landing, this research presents opportunities and challenges in the visual display of social and technical data: integrating diverse sources, creating broadly accessible representations, and including time as an interactive variable. It introduces a timely and long-term endeavor, the development of a visual language and interface connecting researchers, designers, and operators in the study of distributed computer-human interactions.
Visual Apollo is available as a journal article or app for the mac here
Created with David Mindell and the MIT Laboratory for Automation, Robotics, and Society