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Visualising Mobility

Visualising transitions

Visualising trajectories





Case Studies Index

Mapping the Life Course:
Visualising Migrations, Transitions & Trajectories

Editorial Introduciton

Viewed from a physical scientific perspective, the data used in social science research are often "messy", and, more often than not, this is a consequence of their having been collected for purposes other than academic research. For statistical analysis, this means the "experiments" are essentially unplanned and out with the researcher's control. For visualization, which might be seen as a great help in the analysis of such data, it means that generic functions often do not produce useful graphics.
In this Case Study Humphrey Southall and Ben White start with a deceptively simple visualization problem: how can we visualize individual life histories in time and space? They illustrate two key points:
  1. in fact, this is a specific case of a rather more general problem, that of visualizing longitudinal data.
  2. an old and well understood graphic, the lifeline diagram developed by Swedish "Time Geographers" in the 1960's, provides a possible solution which has not been implemented this far.

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