I am excited to announce the launch of my CHI Fellowship Project, Healthy Visuals.

This project has seen a few iterations since I first thought about what it would be in December. The goal of the site is to provide a pedagogical example of rudimentary data visualization to be used in an undergraduate-level methods course for humanities majors. Using health data obtained from Data2020, I exemplify basic visualizing methods and find what story the data tells. In this example, I graphed data obtained through a national health survey that showed an increase in access to healthcare through insurance in all groups across respondents. However, recent studies point to accelerated closures of rural hospitals in the last decade. While access to healthcare is inarguably improved, access to healthcare facilities has diminished across the country in populations that more rural, less wealthy, and have larger populations of Black and Indigenous People of Color than in previous decades. The data and the story it tells offer only a small insight into the healthcare crises facing our country. Given our use of methods, humanists are in a unique position to contextualize and make sense of raw data, and using basic visualization skills is a necessary component to this end.

This project utilized geospatial data visualization and in addition to Google charts. I chose these two methods because they emphasize simplicity. When I began the project, I attempted to build interactivity using a variety of javascript libraries. Ultimately, I was trying to use a backhoe where a spade would have been appropriate. This way, the website functions as a template by which students can begin to learn basic coding for data storytelling. Furthermore, this is more conducive to the quick in-class projects I incorporate with my lessons, something that would not be possible if I tried to teach students how to use D3.js or other more complicated data visualization tools.