Pathways: Sense-Making of Big Data

July 15th, 2012 - June 30th, 2014 | PROJECT

This pathways project will study how audiences in public spaces, in this case those in a museum setting, relate to and make sense of large data displays. The project is preliminary to development of a traveling, hands-on exhibition enabling users to create and utilize representations of big data displays such as maps and charts. As the test case, the project will use science maps that provide an overview of science generally and specific areas of STEM, charting and exploring the history and future of science and technology. The data collection portion of the project will take place at the New York Hall of Science, the Marian Koshland Science Museum, COSI in Columbus, Ohio, and WonderLab Museum in Bloomington, Indiana. The project will create a foundation for the design of museum exhibits and educational programs that teach museum visitors how to explore, engage and make better sense of big data. The project is potentially transformative because big data is becoming ubiquitous and making sense out of large data displays is necessary in order to understand big data sets.

Project Website(s)

(no project website provided)

Project Products

Big Data Insight Needs Sort
Sense Making of Big Data: Front-end study on familiarity with terms
Meaning making through data representation: Construction and Deconstruction
Sense-making of Big Data Spring Break 2013 – Visualization recognition and meaning making

Team Members

Katy Borner, Principal Investigator, Indiana University
Joe E Heimlich, Co-Principal Investigator, COSI
Adam Maltese, Co-Principal Investigator, Indiana University


Funding Source: NSF
Funding Program: ISE/AISL
Award Number: 1223698
Funding Amount: 250000


Audience: Evaluators | General Public | Museum | ISE Professionals
Discipline: Education and learning science | General STEM | Mathematics | Nature of science | Technology
Resource Type: Project Descriptions
Environment Type: Exhibitions | Museum and Science Center Exhibits