Culture sites and visitors – great data visualisation from The Guardian

many coloured spheres with working within them - these represent museums, galleries and heritage sites

A glimpse of the Guardian's data visualisation of visitor attractions

There’s a really nice, thought-provoking data visualisation in today’s Guardian [February 23, 2011.] Have a look at the graphic here.

It’s thought provoking to me because it shows how useful simple stats showing a national picture can be. It’s not my interest to see ‘league tables’ of museums or galleries made easy; but it’s sure helpful when it comes to arguing the case for easier digital access, web creativity and the overall development of reach and audiences.

At the moment, we’re still waiting for a simple and functional set of guidelines for measuring web traffic and usage across the public sector media space. This sort of tourism-centric evaluation of reach and visitor patterns can be used and explored further – but until we all agree on ways to measure in consistent forms, this sort of easy to understand visualisation will be beyond the digital culture sector.

At the height of the New Opportunities Fund Digital-era in the museum and gallery space in the UK there were some really simple and useful guidelines for web development; Culture Online also put together some more complex recommendations too. We’ve moved on from that time; web technologies and ways to track user pathways through social media have become much more complex.

Interestingly, it’s become somewhat difficult to track down existing resources about web measurement and standards for public sector digital work. The NOF-digi resources have been superceded by pages on the UKOLN site which are somewhat museum-centric [though still very useful indeed] and the Culture Online ones have disappeared. I’m keen to index and collate what’s out there and what’s relevant today to all kinds of creative and cultural organisations. Can anyone help?


About Jon Pratty

Human - for now
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