Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Reaction : The Value of Information Visualization

This well-structured article discusses many issues that field of information visualization is facing in identifying and communicating its importance.Author emphasize on the fact that amplification of cognition that put forth a clear understanding on visual representaion of datasets, is not as easy as evaluating performance of algorithms and tools.Hence InfoViz systems are effective tools for learning, evaluating and discovering data, specifically useful for people who are still in the process of exploring and understanding data.
According to author,Human perception plays a key role in generating new insights on data by acting as fast filter to conflicting stories.And visuals greatly affect performance by training human minds to act as external cognition aids.It was interesting to learn from theories about how factors like color, proximity, similarity, continuity, symmetry etc contribute in drafting an efficient Infovis system.Interesting examples leaves an impression that Information visualization was thought about and had its impact long time back. Lack of success stories is well-supported with an argument that InfoViz systems always remained "one among many factors" contributing to success of a project mainly because its usage is predominantly for the purpose of comparing and evaluating the final end-product results. Author provides a clear picture to readers by explaining that if understanding of data is clear and a model is in place for that then Statistics is a better way to visualize data as compared to Data mining or InfoViz.
Van Wijk's economical model provides a very strong base for researchers to come up with more plausible model for representing quantifiable data as i doubt on its accuracy and practical application because information measured here is less quantifiable and more based on user understanding .It does pay attention to small but significant factors like:- cost of RnD, time spent on getting familiar with Viz etc. Overall its an interesting read and definitely very informative.