Interactive Data Narrative: Designing for Public Engagement

Interactive data narrative, or the crafting of interactive online stories based upon new or existing data, has grown dramatically over the last several years. Data is increasingly available through such mechanisms as embedded sensor networks, remote sensing, and mobile data collection platforms. The affordances of mobile computing and increasing internet access enable widespread-and often citizen-powered-data collection initiatives. This proliferation of data raises the challenge of translating data into compelling and actionable stories. New data collection and online storytelling strategies foster a mode of communication that can reveal complexities, time-based shifts, and arcane patterns with regard to newly available geolocated data. This thesis investigates interactive storytelling as a mode of communicating data and analyzes trends and opportunities for future innovation. Surveying the field and analyzing specific projects lays the foundation for a design intervention for adding a narrative layer to geolocated, citizen-collected data.


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