Visualization Blog

Ideas, Papers and Thoughts on the field of Visualization

Posts Tagged ‘many eyes

Interactive visualization at your fingertips

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With today’s release of Tableau Public, Tableau Software has opened up infinite possibilites for researchers, corporations and enthusiasts alike to interact, explore and play with their data. More importantly, with Tableau Public one can now have ‘interactive’ visualizations online as opposed to static images. This is a step in the right direction for Data Visualization software, since increasingly one hears from domain experts who want to ‘use’ software and not have to write programs (however small or easy those programs may seem to the developer of the software). Tableau now allows researchers to explore their data and collaborate more effectively instead of having to share static ‘screenshots’ via email.

Such uses of visualization software have already been explored and shown to be hugely successful by the ManyEyes team in their CHI ’08 paper, but the capabilities and strengths of both the products are in somewhat disjoint areas. For example, Tableau focuses on the Business Intelligence community and lacks certain visualizations such as Treemaps or Text visualizations (which ManyEyes seem to do really well). Other interesting and inspiring uses of Tableau Public can be found in their Gallery at http://www.tableausoftware.com/public/gallery. Dont forget to check out the NYC Graffiti workbook that they have online. Detailed training videos can be found at http://www.tableausoftware.com/public/training

ManyEyes – Reader s of this blog already know my fondness for IBM’s Many Eyes. ManyEyes has been a pioneer in this field of online visualization software that facilitates data visualization without the need for programming. Research papers from the Many Eyes team detailing user interactions and unexpected uses of the visualization software can be found at http://bewitched.com/manyeyes.html

Verifiable is another such website that allows online visualization of data. So far the data visualizations that are possible are limited to bar charts, scatter plots and line charts but the trend is definitely promising and I hope they continue to improve the excellent service. A video can be found online at http://verifiable.com/screencast

Swivel is similar to Verifiable, where one can upload data and create online interactive visualizations. Videos for all the features in Swivel can be found at http://www.swivel.com/features. Unfortunately, they have a 15-day free trial that restricts the widespread use of their tools.

As I interact with experts and students from domains as wide as political sciences, biology, economics and so on, I am pleased to hear the awareness that they have for effective visualization but I am sometimes disheartened to have to tell them to learn programming to learn some of our nifty tools. Tableau Public, IBM Many Eyes and others are exceptional in the service that they provide. I envision more research groups, corporate websites and so on posting interactive visualizations with a ‘Powered by Tableau’ icon or something similar in the bottom right corner.

Seminal information visualization papers

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Here is an article that I wrote at Vizworld.com. Vizworld.com is a great resource for all things related to graphics and visualization and is one of the websites that I regularly visit to keep updated with the field. This article has been updated with resources that some of the visitors mentioned in the comments section and I thank them for the same.

I have been thinking about making a list of some of the most seminal information visualization papers. These are papers that have made an impact and can be widely seen in the media (print/web) or are being adopted in visualization software/systems such as VTK, Prefuse, Many Eyes and so on. I may have missed out on a few papers, so please feel free to add any that you think are ‘must-reads’ for an infovis researcher.

Disclaimer: The list in no particular order of preference.

Here’s the list:

  1. Cluster and Calendar based Visualization of Time Series Data, Jarke J. van Wijk and Edward R. van Selow, Proc InfoVis 99, p 4-9. vanwijk-300x242
  2. Polaris: A System for Query, Analysis and Visualization of Multi-dimensional Relational Databases, Chris Stolte, Diane Tang and Pat Hanrahan, IEEE Transactions on Visualization and Computer Graphics, Vol. 8, No. 1, January 2002. polaris
  3. The Eyes Have It: A Task by Data Type Taxonomy for Information Visualizations, Ben Shneiderman, Proc. 1996 IEEE Visual Languages. An interesting sentence from the paper – “Information exploration is inherently a process with many steps, so keeping the history of actions and allowing users to retrace their steps is important. However, most prototypes fail to deal with this requirement.” I feel that with the amazing ‘provenance’ based work that Claudio Silva’s group at the University of Utah are doing on Vistrails, some of this is being finally addressed.
  4. How Not to Lie with Visualization, Bernice E. Rogowitz and Lloyd A. Treinish, Computers In Physics 10(3) May/June 1996, pp 268-273.not_to_lie
  5. Excentric Labeling: Dynamic Neighborhood Labeling for Data Visualization. Jean-Daniel Fekete and Catherine Plaisant. Proc. CHI’99, pages 512-519. There is a new paper this year at EuroVis 2009 that extends the techniques proposed in this paper – Extended Excentric Labeling by Enrico Bertini, Maurizio Rigamonti and Denis Lalanne. excentric
  6. VisDB: Database Exploration using Multidimensional Visualization, Daniel A. Keim and Hans-Peter Kriegel, IEEE CG&A, 1994 visdb
  7. Parallel Coordinates: A Tool for Visualizing Multi-Dimensional Geometry. Alfred Inselberg and Bernard Dimsdale, IEEE Visualization ‘90, 1990.pc
  8. Smooth and Efficient Zooming and Panning. Jack J. van Wijk and Wim A.A. Nuij, Proc. InfoVis 2003, p. 15-22 zoompan
  9. Snap-Together Visualization: Can Users Construct and Operate Coordinated Views? Chris North, B. Shneiderman. Intl. Journal of Human-Computer Studies, Academic Press, 53(5), pg. 715-739, (November 2000)snap
  10. Hotmap: Looking at Geographic Attention Danyel Fisher, IEEE TVCG 13(6):1184-1191 (Proc. InfoVis 2007).hotmap
  11. Tree visualization with treemaps: a 2-d space-filling approach, Ben Shneiderman, ACM Transactions on Graphics, vol. 11, 1 (Jan. 1992) 92-99 and B. Johnson and B. Shneiderman, “Tree-maps: A Space Filling Approach to the Visualization of Hierarchical Information Structures“, Proc. of Vis ‘91, Oct. 1991, pp. 284-291.tm1
  12. Danny Holten (2006), Hierarchical Edge Bundles: Visualization of Adjacency Relations in Hierarchical Data, IEEE Transactions on Visualization and Computer Graphics, vol. 12, no 5, pp. 741-748. – This has already been implemented in VTK and is very useful for visualizing hierachical data.edge_bundles
  13. Tamara Munzner, Francois Guimbretiere, Serdar Tasiran, Li Zhang, and Yunhong Zhou (2003), TreeJuxtaposer: Scalable Tree Comparison using Focus+Context with Guaranteed Visibility, SIGGRAPH 2003 , published as ACM Transactions on Graphics 22(3), pp. 453-462.clade
  14. M. Stone, “Choosing Colors for Data Visualization“, 2006. stone
  15. Penny Rheingans (1999). Task-based Color Scale Design. Proceedings of Applied Image and Pattern Recognition ‘99, SPIE, pp. 35-43.task_based
  16. F. Viegas, M. Wattenberg, F. van Ham, J. Kriss, and M. McKeon, “ManyEyes: A Site for Visualization at Internet Scale“, IEEE Trans. on Visualization and Computer Graphics, Vol. 13, No. 6, Nov.-Dec. 2007, pp. 1121-1128.manyeyes
  17. J. Heer, S. Card, J. Landay, “prefuse: a toolkit for interactive information visualization“, Proceedings of ACM CHI ‘05, April 2005, pp. 421-430.banner
  18. John Lamping , Ramana Rao , Peter Pirolli, A focus+context technique based on hyperbolic geometry for visualizing large hierarchies, Proceedings of the SIGCHI conference on Human factors in computing systems, p.401-408, May 07-11, 1995, Denver, Colorado, United States
  19. S. Havre, B. Hetzler, and L. Nowell, “ThemeRiver: Visualizing Theme Changes over Time”, Proceedings of the 2000 IEEE Information Visualization Symposium, Salt Lake City, Oct. 2000, pp. 115-123. Image from Theme river inspired work – Stacked Graphs: Geometry & Aesthetics, IEEE InfoVis 2008
  20. M. Wattenberg and J. Kriss, “Designing for Social Data Analysis,” IEEE Transactions on Visualization and Computer Graphics Vol. 12, No. 4, Jul.-Aug. 2006, pp. 549-557.namevoyager

Other than these papers, these books are a source of invaluable advice about visualizing data.

Books

What other papers/books would you add to this list?

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