Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Power of Information visualization

Ben Shneiderman is a giant person in information visualization field and he has contributed for many theories in this field. He has coined what he calls information visualization mantra that leads to information seeking behavior:

Overview first, zoom and filter, then details on demand”

The important point is that a good computer-based visualization is an interface that can support all of these activities. According to this mantra; system should represent the overview of the entire collection, any interested item should be able to zoom, able to filter out uninteresting items, and also able to select an item or group and
get details when needed. Any system which follows this mantra can be representing the high volume of information in an effective manner. Figure 1 shows application (Ex: Spotfire) which built upon using this mantra. In this application entire item collection are displayed and any item can be