Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Reaction: Understanding Charts and Graphs

In this paper, the author starts with citing the flaws in various graphical representations and creates a sense of curiosity to delve into the details of the paper. The author gives a list of various visual displays to represent data like graphs, charts, maps and diagrams. Of these he starts with stating that graphs are most interesting variant as they exist in numerous types like line, bar, etc. The paper is divided into three parts beginning with the discussion on analytics, evaluation procedures and the principles developed.

The authors have delved into depth by citing about the various factors like background, framework and other details in the charts and graphs. This is well followed by the specifying the relations between the various elements at an analytics level. There is a citation of the acceptability principle which is supported by two roots: how the visual information is processed and the development of symbols. The authors have explained in depth on these two topics and give a good understanding of the various nuances that exist in the two. The commendable part of this paper, according to me, would be the citation of the violations of this principle and the discussions on the same. There is a distinct difference made in the analysis on the basis of syntax, semantics and pragmatic factors.

I would definitely state that the level of analysis done in this paper is quite deep and elaborate. The authors have confessed to be picky in their analysis and have stated that many of the same would be irrelevant. But to conclude, what I personally liked in this paper is the statement made by the authors which is: “A good display, after all, is one easily usable by human beings.”