Project: Why visualize?
With the "Why visualize?" project we lay ground for future advances in the theory of (information) visualization. The main contribution of this project is the presentation of arguments for why visualization works with their relations. These arguments are commonly put forward as arguments for why the visualization of data can provide a benefit compared to, for example, textual representations.
How to read the arguments
All arguments are stated in general language. This does not mean that they apply to all visualizations, but enhances readability. If an argument applies, or if it does not, depends on each specific visualization and may give reasons for why this visualization can aid in solving a specific task. Which arguments are important usually depends on the task in question, often also the data to be inspected as well as the user are relevant.
We categorize arguments according to different schemes. One categorization is by argumentative standpoints. In total we suggest 6 standpoints, including Basic, Semiotics, Design, Interplay, Cognition, Teamwork
Another categorization is based on information flow. Here, we look at which flow of information through common InfoVis models—see figure of the model proposed by Chen and Floridi—arguments are focused on. You may click on the wide numbered arrows in the figure for details.
Get in touch
If you have any questions or suggestions, found and error, or would like to contribute to the argument netwrok, please send us an email to streeb at dbvis dot inf.uni-konstanz.de. In case you want to analyze the argument collection by yourself, please find the csv downloads at the bottom end of this page.