Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Reaction: The value of Information Visualization.

This paper talks about the importance in understanding that information visualization is of greater significance and explains it with various examples. The paper allows readers to notice that information visualization can be considered from different points of view and gives detailed note of its importance through the arguments.

It is always necessary to make an effective communication to allow users understand the point being made across. Information visualization is one of the best proven techniques to express data in a more human perceivable form. As mentioned by Card, Mackinlay, and Shneiderman visualization is "the use of computer-supported, interactive visual representations of data to amplify cognition. This paper allows you to understand that information visualization appears to be most useful when the user does not know what questions to ask about data. From the mentioned examples in the paper it is clear that InfoVis is about developing insights from collected data, not about understanding a specific domain. The paper also highlights the importance of comparing data through cognitive and perceptual arguments using an example dataset expressed in an excel and a picture allowing the users gain insight into InfoVis quoting Gestalt theory and theories from psychology. With examples of Napolean's March on Moscow by Minard, John Snow's deduction of cholera epidemic cause and the rest this paper expresses the cognitive benefits that we get using Information Visualization. The paper also enumerates the theory that has to be put in to visualize data using statistics and data mining to answer the critics that it is not just random way of expressing data in a graphical form. Overall this paper gets a high level understanding about the InfoVis and is an interesting read.