I really do like the idea of visualizing data, but I have to admit I’ve typically used it to illustrate a point I’m making in the text rather than as a research tool. And my charts have always been fairly simple (like this one I made in Excel, based on hospital records listing impressed slaves treated in Richmond, Virginia, in the second half of 1862). Ironically, when I tried to use the data underlying this very simple graph in ViewShare, I couldn’t get it to work — the program kept unlinking information I needed to remain together. I suppose I would need to format the source table differently.
Rather than spending a lot of time redoing something that’s already done and published, I figured I would look at something new. So I extracted all of the records listing individual slaveholders from the 1850 census spreadsheet I have for Wilmington, North Carolina, and then created a scatter plot that compares real estate holdings with slave holdings in the city. Click on “scatterplot” below to show the chart. If you hover over each square, you’ll see the specific numbers it represents. Click on the square, and you’ll get information about the slaveholder — name, age, occupation, etc. I’m not sure what this shows me yet, but it might be a way to start locating trends, especially if I do the same thing with the 1860 census.
Test post from ViewShare: