Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Reaction: Jigsaw: Supporting Investigative Analysis through Interactive Visualization

Jigsaw is a tool to help document analyzers create visualizations to aid in their analyzations. My first thought when I read this was of our previous reading about writing notes and writing on paper in general as an external cognition aid, and sure enough, the authors note this in the third paragraph. They do a good job of motivating the usefulness of a tool like Jigsaw later in the introduction as well.

It looks like Jigsaw's primary document input should be short reports, and Jigsaw concentrates primarily on drawing connections between entities.

I appreciate the discussion about their implementation. They went with an MVC architecture, and an XML file structure, which is interesting to see.

Beyond that, I think we've seen all of these views before. I think we've seen the list view, but I know we've seen graph views and scatterplots. The text view is a good addition though, since it links the more abstract visualizations back to the original source. That's good stuff.

Anyway, I've been inspired to at least look for their website, here. It's somewhat disappointing that apparently they make you email somebody to get a copy of Jigsaw, and they don't seem to offer the source code.