Visualisation

Information governs the new economy. It keeps us socially connected with our peers, influencing how we interact with our everyday life and the information culture we share with others, allowing us to be mentally and socially active constructive to our personal identity. But how does the way we perceive information govern our identity?

In particular, my group and I decided to measure the amount of gold medals Australian athletes had received relative to the amount of athletes that participated under the Australian flag in the Olympic game, the overall rank of Australia on the medal tally, and the percentage of gold medals received by Australia relative to the total medals received by Australia.

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Thus we made a trend of increasing gold medals Australia has received visible. Furthermore, we aimed at demonstrating the positive influence of the AIS from 1984 onwards and its impact on Australian performance at the Olympic games since 1984.

The inspiration for this visualization came from the perception that Australia had performed significantly bad at the London Olympics in 2012. The visualization thus aims at also making visible that at the London Olympics Australia did not perform as badly as the Australian public had thought. Thus the visualization is directed towards the general Australian public, primarily because to some degree interest is shown on Australia’s performance in the Olympics.

The general perception on the trend is that Australia did poor to average in the London Olympics 2012. This was revealed to us through a number of sports articles during the London Olympics as well as a survey we had created and distributed amongst the public and our friends on Facebook. Some headlines include: “have we failed our athletes or have they failed us”, “Australian athletes have not been up to it”, “Australia left wishing its Olympic athletes cried tears of gold”, “the verdict: its been a right bang-up job”, and “Australia’s lost Olympic edge”.

Forming the visualization, we aimed at making a positive perception of a real life event, well known around the world. To do this data was portrayed in an authoritative way, where the graph represents an upward motion. Thus when viewed properly the visualization highlights the AIS has potentially had a negative impact on the Australian participation in the Olympic Games, this was highlight as out of 100 athletes the number of gold medals decreased from 4-2. This goes against what has been made visible in the visualization.

Thus the visualization makes something else slightly visible, that is; how authoritative data can manipulate the truth, ones perception and enforce conformity to a general idea.

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