Visualization Concepts: Overview


Current exploitation of information accessible by computer: a fraction ! Future increase of data rates expected

=> Need for systematic strategies (concepts, methodologies, intelligent visualization systems) to exploit data [ROB94]

Two strategies

Use of mapping constraints

Arising from

Data characteristics

Data characteristics include

Interpretation aims

Interpretation aims are defined by the viewer(s), e.g., for

Abilities and desires of user

Restrictions by


Available software and hardware

Restrictions by

"Meaningful pictures"

Coherent visual representations

Use of appropriate visual attributes (visual cues)

Approaches to systematic strategies: Overview

Selected concepts of visualization systems

Mackinlay (APT)

A Presentation Tool [MAC86]

Automatic 2-d discrete data presentation of relational information

Roth and Mattis (SAGE)


Includes components for constructive design of graphics (SageBrush) and retrieval of graphics (SageBook).

Casner (BOZ)


Approach from task analysis

Operating on relational database to produce 2-d graphics

Senay and Ignatius (VISTA)

VISualization Tool Assistant: extension to 3d visualizations [SEN94]

Knowledge-based system to automatically design visualizations

Robertson (NSP)

Natural Scene Paradigm [ROB91]

=>assures coherency through top-down design of complex scenes

=>assures problem-free interpretation through perceptual skills of humans

Wehrend and Lewis (Catalog of Visualizations)

Classification of simple and complex visualization techniques [WEH90]

Categorize each visualization technique by:

"Catalog of visualization techniques": large 2-d matrix to identify meaningful visualization techniques for a pair of (attribute/operation).

Haber and McNabb

Visualization process is series of transformations to convert raw simulated data into a displayable image:

Visualization idiom: "a specific sequence of data enrichment and enhancement transformations, visualization mappings and rendering transformations that produce an abstract display of a scientific data set".

Beshers and Feiner (AutoVisual)

Rule-based design of interactive multivariate visualizations (n-Vision) [BES93]

Robertson, Card and Mackinlay (Information Visualizer)

Paradigm to optimize cost structure for finding and accessing information [ROB93]

Information workspaces characterized by

Sample visualization techniques: Cone trees, Perspective Wall, 3D/Rooms

Visualization Concepts
HyperVis Table of Contents

Last modified on February 11, 1999, G. Scott Owen,