Data Management and Communication
Defining Paradata in Heritage Visualisation
by Drew Baker
The composer Felix Mendelssohn is known to have said ‘music is not too indefinite for words, but too definite’. Similarly Data Objects, objects about which data are held, have often been considered to be too vague and have been pinned down to specific and objective categories through the use of metadata. This paper examines data and their metamorphosis. It proposes that there exists a parallel stream of ancillary information to metadata which is generated as part of a visualization-based research process. The latter should be documented and disseminated alongside the outcomes of visual research.
These ‘paradata’, the paper argues, are essential to understanding and building successful and intellectually transparent research hypotheses and conclusions, particularly in areas where data are questionable, incomplete or conflicting. The author explores how this can be applied to the process of creating 3D computer visualization for research.