Monday, September 19, 2011

Reaction : The Eyes Have It: A Task by Data Type Taxonomy for Information Visualizations

According to author, while dealing with large volume of information,data warehousing and visualization takes precedence over database maintenance. Information communicated visually is most effective. Its easier to perceive data graphically than textually. The type by task taxonomy serve as a guide for representaing multiattribute data in seven diffrent ways and performing seven diffrent tasks on these data types to solve the issues in focus. Author follows a mantra as a part of visual design guidelines :- "Overview first, Zoom and filter,then details on demand". Since these data types and tasks represent a higher-level of abstraction,they can be used in combination and hold room for further addition and refinement. Filtration of uninteresting items, maintenance of history for record-keeping and rollback , and extraction adds a lot of flexiblity to the existing process.The importance of human perceptual ability for visual information is justified by author as "The eye, the hand, and the mind seem to work smoothly and rapidly as users perform actions on visual displays." Overall its an informative read. I particularly liked reading about the filter flow model for direct manipulation queries that cleanly deals with ambiguities in boolean expressions and diffrent ways of representing indented data like tree-structure and networks.