Thursday, December 15, 2011

Reaction: Jigsaw: Supporting Investigative Analysis through Interactive Visualization

Jigsaw is a visualization tool that helps investigative analysts that work with collections of text document. It visualizes the documents and the entities (place, person, things) on them. The input are reports written in natural language and of a length of about 1-5 paragraphs. Output is done in four different views: List View, Graph View, Scatterplot View, and Text View.

The List View shows lists of types of entities, side by side, connected by a line if they appear on a same report. Graph View shows a graph with reports and entities and lines in between. Scatterplot View shows types of entities in the X and Y axis (I did’t understand the different colors show on the picture. Finally the Text View is the original text from the reports with the entities highlighted and color-coded according to its type.

The tool seems to be a good idea for dealing with this type of information, but I’ll be worried about how it performs with large amounts of information. The Graph View looks very nice with three reports, but a 100 could be tough to represent clearly. Other views will have problems too, for example: the tabs on the Text View will overflow, the Scatterplot matrix will be to big to be displayed or too cluttered, etc.