Data Visualisation of “La Francophonie”

The Arts subject I am studying as part of my course is French. I love to learn more and more about the french culture everyday, and La Franchophonie is a big part of France’s culture.

French is the 9th most widely spoken language in the world, and together with english, is the only language spoken on all five continents. It is the 3rd most widely used language on the web.

I used text from the Orginisation Internationale de la Franchophonie  ‘s website. The text I used in my data visualisation graph are the names of countries that are member states and governments of the Franchophone. There are 57 member states and governments, and 23 observers.

The data visualisation tool that I used to display this information was IBM’s Many EyesI found this tool to be very professional out of all the tools I had researched. Eg: Voyant, Wordsift and Wordle.

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I used the world map display option in my visualisation. I copied all of the countries names, and I pasted it into the text box.  After I chose the visualisation option I wanted, it processed the words that had been entered and it appeared perfectly as I had wanted it to. Various circles were added all over the map to display the countries that were named, and in different colour too. What I liked about this tool, is that on the right hand side of the page it also displayed every word entered and the colour next to them, so you have an option to check what country it is.

It’s very visual and that’s why I wanted to experiment with the countries of La Francophonie because it’s something, as a french student, that I should be aware of. Already, I have learned much more about this text than I would have if I had just read it, because reading a list of something is not how I would effectively learn the list. If I had a world map in front of me, I would confidently be able to point at a few countries that are part of the Francophone thanks to this visualisation.

Open Street Map – Review

As part of my second assignment for my Digital Tools and Methodologies module, we were told to review OpenStreetMap. This is an open source mapping website that allows registered users to contribute to the website. If you’re not signed up, then all you can do is view what has been contributed by many others.

My process: 

First of all, I visited to learn how to edit the map. Like any new toy, you read the instructions first. It was very visual, which I found to be extremely helpful.

I decided to start off with my own hometown, since I would have more information about it, but it seemed to be mapped pretty well. My own estate was mapped but wasn’t named, so I decided to add that in. My area mustn’t have been updated in quite a while because Eddie Rockets, in Blackpool, has been replaced by a diner called Rockin’ Joes. So I made a few changes, also moving Lifestyle sports to the correct building.

I then decided to see if my primary school and secondary school in Glanmire were mapped. This area didn’t seem like a lot of focus went into it. My primary school wasn’t even acknowledged, so I decided to add it in.Screen Shot 2015-03-06 at 12.19.00Screen Shot 2015-03-06 at 12.18.45

Then I checked my secondary school and realised that there was a “h” missing at the end of the name, so I fixed that. Also, the school cafeteria was named as a gym so I had to change that, and I also added in the swimming pool as a building.

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Going through this whole process I’ve noticed a few pros and a few cons.


  • The user interface is attractive, and is very visual with icons.
  • The tools, eg: using a polygon to add a line or area, is very easy to use.
  • It allows anyone to contribute, once they have an account.
  • There is a delay from when you change something, to when it actually appears on the map for viewers, because it has to be reviewed. So information added as a joke, won’t be as funny if it takes a while to show.
  • Various options to choose from, to describe the area/building you’re mapping


  • As it is a crowd sourcing project, it allows anyone to contribute, once they have an account. Which in result, could lead to a lot of wrong information being added.
  • Whatever you add, can be changed by another person that might think that they’re right.

What i’ve learned from this experience: 

I’ve learned how to use this mapping tool, by reading the guidelines and contributing my bit to this project. It’s helped me understand the importance of mapping things correctly, because tourists or even local people that want to find their way around their area , could get lost. And also, the importance of leaving the correct information behind us, because this could be used in the future.

This is the third mapping tool i’ve encountered during my time in this Digital humanities module. I also did a review for my first assignment on a mapping tool called SepiaTown. Mapping tools seem to have grown because of the amount of interest invested in them. People like to know where things are.

How you feel you might be able to apply the spatial or the crowdsourced initiatives in your own work – now or in the future: 

I will be able to use SepiaTown in the future if i’m ever looking for a historical image that applies to whatever project i’m involved in.

I’m not sure yet what I would use Open Street Map for, but it’s seems like a reliable enough source that I could use any data it displays and be sure that it’s credible. Thus, using it in whatever project i’m involved in.

I do find these digital mapping tools to be very interesting, and I’m positive I will be searching for more spatial and crowdsourced initiatives to expand my knowledge for future projects of mine.