Visual Language

On this page we explore the idea of a __visual language__. Many of us who program and are dyslexic imagine a language of hieroglyphics that is naturally associative and functionally active. Universality is an added potential benefit. Here we look at some pragmatics around the creation of a visual language for deliberation.

# Deliberation

Starting with liquid democracy it became apparent that the task of representing how decisions get made is an outcome of a process of social deliberation, and that graphing these dialogues can be informative both at the individual and at the group level.

Argument maps and collaborative writing software have dabbled briefly in this space. But, perhaps the most stimulating experiments have been in the arts and with projects that organise collections of iconic images - such as the The Noun Project.

# Aim A visual language aims to enable thought in ways in which text struggles. Of particular relevance here is in the depiction of interactive simulations of complex systems. A visual language helps in this regard by enabling the compact depiction of a reasonably large number of concepts in a diagram or animation.

We already use individuate icons in wiki to represent a domain or sub domain under which an author is writing. As each such domain usually represents a space for researching a particular topic, these icons come to represent broad concepts with which we structure our writing. A visual language has the potential to take this further.

# Interactive visualisations We can make a start on this journey by exploring interactive visualisations rendered in graphviz. Each node on the diagram can represent a wiki-page or wiki-site, and each wiki-page can in turn be represented by another interactive graph or diagram that represents its structure and place within the debate.

In order to facilitate the ease with which such iconic elements are created we need both a library of icons that are readily available to the author, and an easy means to create new icons and add to this visual commons. This is the aim of The Noun Project, and we seek to interface wiki with the Noun project api and contribute to this initiative by making it easy for wiki authors to submit new icons.

# History The idea of a universal visual language has a long history and has come up many times. Below are some links preserved from

...or, visit the Visual Language wiki, and talk about all of these things:

# See also