Thursday, December 15, 2011

Reaction: The Eyes Have It

This paper does a good job explaining why visualization is both an art and a science. While it is true that it relies on basic principles and a structured approach, each visualization plot has inherent peculiarities and a particular design.

It describes the basic tasks as a checklist that should be carried out to design visualizations (overview, zoom, filter, details, relate, history, extract) and specifies correct techniques for particular analysis on various dimensions. It also relates it to why human perception responds differently to the particular stimuli from these techniques.

Since some of the above tasks and requirements are done intuitively to a certain extent, probably the most valuable discussion on the article is on querying and filtering. It briefly discusses the importance and usefulness on Boolean logic, Venn diagrams and decision tables as an optional filter before the exploratory plotting.