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Computers may be able to handle vast amounts of data, but we still need designers to translate it into something humans can understand visually. In the past, it was up to the imagination and skill of the lone scholar or campaigner to find and display the meaning in their own data. In the process, they often produced a kind of art. These visual feasts are being celebrated in a new exhibition at The British Library in London, which shows how learning to visualise data helped shape science and society.

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