Information visualization for humanities scholars needs to accommodate a mix of evidence and argumentation. The humanities approach consists not of converging toward a single interpretation that cannot be challenged but rather of examining the objects of study from as many reasonable and original perspectives as possible to develop convincing interpretations (for a fuller argumentation of this approach in a digital context, see Drucker). In this sense, we can evaluate a visualization system by determining how well it supports this interpretive activity: a visualization that produces a single output for a given body of material is of limited usefulness; a visualization that provides many ways to interact with the data, viewed from different perspectives, is better; a visualization that contributes to new and emergent ways of understanding the material is best.
Read the full paper here: Sinclair, S., Ruecker, S. and M. Radzikowska. “Information Visualization for Humanities Scholars.” In Literary Studies in the Digital Age: An Evolving Anthology. MLA Commons, 2013.