Weekly Sprint 3
I found this week to be quite productive in some respect, as I had some extra time to start two of my data visualization designs. However, even though I managed to start two designs, I sometimes feel as though I am still unsure of my project as a whole and how I see the final product coming together. One minute I will feel confident with my project idea, and then the next I will be questioning the entirety of my life choices. The shakiness of my mental precipice is unnerving most days, especially when the end of April is drawing ever-closer and the tasks on my to-do list are growing exponentially. Because I am feeling this way, I signed up to have my project critiqued next week; I don’t have too much to show other than two semi-completed designs, but I am hoping that my classmates can provide me with some valuable feedback, as well as guide me in a more solid direction with my project.
Besides completing some of the actual designs this week, I also tried to determine how I would incorporate more personal data that would help make the numbers and statistics that I already possess more human. I did try contacting some veteran facilities nearby to see if any veterans would be interested in doing an interview or taking a short survey; however, I was largely unsuccessful. In this next week, I am going to try to contact one place here in Ewing because I really do want my data to tell a story about veterans and people in the military. I have all this data that I gleaned from the US Census Bureau, Department of Defense, and Department of Veteran Affairs, but I am not entirely sure what the story is behind all this information. I have noticed a few interesting trends, especially with the amount of time it takes for veterans to receive their disability claims, but, overall, I am not entirely sure what it is I want to say with this data.
By far, the best information I have come across in my research is the Veteran’s History Project from the Library of Congress, which is a collection of interviews, diary entries, photographs, and other digital archives from veterans from different war periods and military branches. I am hoping that these anecdotes will help me to weave a larger story about our country’s military and veteran population. In terms of visualizing this data through a design, I am still unclear as to how I should approach using this information. I thought of creating a word cloud with some of the interview transcripts, but I also considered including the audio of these interviews as a supplement to the data visualization gallery. Some things are still up in the air for my project, but my fingers are crossed in hopes that I get a better idea from my project critique.