Visualisations can highly contribute to the importance and authority of new ideas, concepts, and knowledge claims. Among the many visualisations, few become well-known and influential in environmental governance. Whilst these have been objects of specific research, this study questions what constitutes and underpins their influence. For this, the paper codifies influential visualisations and defines criteria for studying their visual characteristics. The criteria are applied to two case studies, the “traffic light” and the “planetary-boundaries” diagrams. To increase the validity of the findings, the study also introduces two “failure cases” as plausibility check.
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