How are data visualization elements linked to underlying data sources in DITA government documentation?

Linking data visualization elements to underlying data sources in DITA government documentation is a critical aspect of creating dynamic and informative visualizations. DITA allows for this linkage through structured data references, enabling seamless integration of data into various visualization elements.

Data Source References

One method to link data to visualizations in DITA is through data source references. Government agencies can define structured data sources within their documentation, and then reference these sources in visualization elements. Here’s an example:

<topic id="revenue_data">
  <title>Quarterly Revenue Data</title>
  <data src="" />

In this example, the <data> element references an external JSON data source containing quarterly revenue data. Visualization elements elsewhere in the documentation can reference this structured data source to create charts, graphs, or tables based on the revenue data.

Visualization Integration

DITA allows for the seamless integration of visualizations and data. Visual elements like charts or graphs can reference structured data sources directly, using attributes like “data-ref” or by specifying the data source within the visualization element itself. This integration ensures that visualizations are always up-to-date with the latest data.

<chart type="bar" data-ref="revenue_data" />

Here, a bar chart is created using data referenced from the “revenue_data” source. Any changes or updates to the underlying data source will automatically reflect in this visualization, ensuring accuracy and consistency in government documentation.