Views on visualization

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The field of visualization is maturing. Many problems have been solved and new directions are sought. In order to make good choices, an understanding of the purpose and meaning of visualization is needed. In this paper, visualization is considered from multiple points of view. First, a technological viewpoint is adopted, where the value of visualization is measured based on effectiveness and efficiency. An economic model of visualization is presented and benefits and costs are established. Next, consequences and limitations of visualization are discussed (including the use of alternative methods, high initial costs, subjectiveness, and the role of interaction). Example uses of the model for the judgment of existing classes of methods are given to understand why they are or are not used in practice. However, such an economic view is too restrictive. Alternative views on visualization are presented and discussed: visualization as an art, visualization as design and, finally, visualization as a scientific discipline.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)421-433
JournalIEEE Transactions on Visualization and Computer Graphics
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2006


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