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      Off the Grid: Visualizing a Numismatic Collection as Dynamic Piles and Streams

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          Abstract

          This research explores the merit of alternative arrangements of cultural artifacts to expose the aesthetic abundance of a cultural collection. The conventional display of museum objects in online interfaces tends to neglect the physical gestalt of the collection. For example, coins typically end up in tabular grids of thumbnail pages in online collections mimicking their rigid placement in storage drawers of a depot and glass cabinets in exhibitions. The overall aim behind this research was to devise visualizations that do justice to the material and semantic richness of an entire collection, while providing a casual mode of access that is inviting to people with no background in numismatics. To do this, we undertook an iterative design process, which involved a close collaboration with numismaticians and playful ideation with actual coins. Carefully negotiating expert knowledge and lay curiosity, the resulting visualization represents the collection’s dimensions using thousands of thumbnails as visual data points. The coins can be arranged into various layouts such as piles representing, for example, metal types, or streams visualizing the ebb and flow of coins over the centuries. In the interface, one can play with the coins in a manner that would be unthinkable in a physical exhibition and that has not been tried in a digital display. The article reports on the overall research and design process of this project, the resulting interface concept and prototype, and the feedback received during two evaluations.

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          Most cited references 16

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          The eyes have it: a task by data type taxonomy for information visualizations

           B Shneiderman (2021)
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            The bohemian bookshelf

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              Visualization of Cultural Heritage Collection Data: State of the Art and Future Challenges

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                Author and article information

                Contributors
                Journal
                2056-6700
                Open Library of Humanities
                Open Library of Humanities
                2056-6700
                18 October 2018
                2018
                : 4
                : 2
                Affiliations
                [1 ]University of Applied Sciences Potsdam, DE
                Article
                10.16995/olh.280
                Copyright: © 2018 The Author(s)

                This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (CC-BY 4.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited. See http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/.

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                Self URI (journal-page): https://olh.openlibhums.org/
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