Revolutions in computing and communications have produced a relentless flood of information about our world and ourselves—right down to our DNA. Today, Boston’s research and technology sectors generate, process and interpret huge amounts of data across industries, from global business to personal genomics.

This information gives us fresh insight and new answers, but presents its own critical questions. Namely, how do we each understand it?

Boston’s universities, including Northeastern, and information design firms, such asFathomVisual I/O and Small Design are leading the response to this new challenge. Through experimental, theoretical, and developmental work in the design and visualization of information, designers are mapping a brave new landscape of visible language that helps us imagine and invent our futures, guide our personal and collective decisions, and navigate our daily lives.

It is no small task.

The complexities presented by enormous amounts of information—or “big data”—exacerbate issues of interpretation, point of view, and comprehension. Rendering large amounts of complex information to be useful and meaningful requires an extremely sophisticated level of design. To present information as clearly as possible to people with different perceptions, cultures and languages, we often employ visual methods.