Visualizing Information

Ann-Margaret Esnard

in The Oxford Handbook of Urban Planning

Published in print April 2012 | ISBN: 9780195374995
Published online September 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks

Visualizing Information


This article focuses on the state of knowledge about information-visualization tools, urban-planning applications, and theoretical constructs and dilemmas. It argues that simply adding information-visualization tools and methods to a planner's toolbox does not guarantee that new questions will be raised or new insights will be developed, or that use of visual information will lead to appropriate and inclusive planning processes and actions. The article explains that the emergence of mixed methodologies, which can help address some concerns about the representational flexibility of geographic information systems (GIS) and other visualization tools, has also brought implicit dilemmas for visualization scholars and practitioners. These include social cognition, and the confrontation between expert knowledge and lay knowledge.

Keywords: visualization tools; urban planning; visual information; planning processes; GIS; social cognition; expert knowledge; lay knowledge

Article.  6601 words. 

Subjects: Politics ; Public Policy

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