Inspiration for Information Visualization

Earlier this month, Smaching Magzine posted a great list on modern approaches to Data Visualization. More strictly speaking, these are the approaches for information visualization (InfoViz). There’s a slight difference between the two. Here are the definitions from Wikipedia:

  • Scientific (or data) visualization deals with data that has a natural geometric structure (e.g. MRI data or wind flows).
  • Information visualization handles more abstract data structures, such as trees or graphs.

  • From user experience perspective, good InfoViz is such an important part to improve people’s productivity and satisfaction. Couple of things stood out to me from the post:

    • Clever use of animation to indicate data trends, which brings static data charts to live and viewer can appreciate the change more. Check out Hans Rosling TED Talk.


    • Very few visualization techniques use 3D visualization.  It probably makes more sense to use 3D visualization to view scientific (or data) visualization such as analyzing a cancer cell. However, for more abstract data structures, often times 2D are sufficient and more effective. I especially like the following visualization examples.

    Trend Map 2007 Three Views
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    Enjoy, Qixing

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