Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Reaction: The Value of Information Visualization

This article was a good broad introduction to what Information Visualization is. I hadn't thought of InfoVis as being a way to allow access to data, without a clear purpose or question. I had always thought of visualizations as being simply a tool to convey a point that was already supported by the data. Thinking of visualizations in this new way makes me think that visualizations should attempt to be as general and unrestrictive in presenting the data to allow users to interact as they please and deduce their own conclusions. I wasn't sure if that was an accurate interpretation of what the authors were trying to say.

I think the article did a good job of giving reasons why InfoVis is important. It made sense to me that presenting data visually would be more effective then just quantitative data and that patterns could be discerned more easily. However, I did wonder whether optical illusions could cause issues with visualizations and actually distort the data? Data presented visually is more effective only so far as our eyes can reliably discern and process the information correctly.