As visualization becomes widespread in a broad range of cross-disciplinary academic domains, such as the digital humanities (DH), critical voices have been raised on the perils of neglecting the uncertain character of data in the visualization design process. Visualizations that, purposely or not, obscure or remove uncertainty in its different forms from the scholars’ vision may negatively affect the manner in which humanities scholars regard computational methods as useful tools in their daily work. In this paper, we address the issue of uncertainty representation in the context of the humanities from a theoretical perspective, in an attempt to provide the foundations of a framework that allows for the construction of ecological interface designs which are able to expose the computational power of the algorithms at play while, at the same time, respecting the particularities and needs of humanistic research. To this end, we review past uncertainty taxonomies in other domains typically related to the humanities and visualization, such as cartography and GIScience. From this review, we select an uncertainty taxonomy related to the humanities that we link to recent research in visualization for the DH. Finally, we bring a novel analytics method developed by other authors (Progressive Visual Analytics) into question, which we argue can be a good candidate to resolve the aforementioned difficulties in DH practice.
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