Interactive Visualization: Insight through Inquiry

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Interactive visualization is emerging as a vibrant new form of communication, providing compelling presentations that allow viewers to interact directly with information in order to construct their own understandings of it.

Building on a long tradition of print-based information visualization, interactive visualization utilizes the technological capabilities of computers, the Internet,and computer graphics to marshal multifaceted information in the service of making a point visually. This book offers an introduction to the field, presenting a framework for exploring historical, theoretical, and practical issues. It is not a "how-to" book tied to specific and soon-to-be-outdated software tools, but a guide to the concepts that are central to building interactive visualization projects whatever their ultimate form. The framework the book presents (known as the ASSERT model, developed by the author), allows the reader to explore the process of interactive visualization in terms of choosing good questions to ask; finding appropriate data for answering them; structuring that information; exploring and analyzing the data; representing the data visually; and telling a story using the data. Interactive visualization draws on many disciplines to inform the final representation, and the book reflects this, covering basic principles of inquiry,data structuring, information design, statistics, cognitive theory, usability,working with spreadsheets, the Internet, and storytelling.

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What People Are Saying

From the Publisher
"Drawing on an impressive range of both academic and popular examples,and describing a rich set of methods and tools, Bill Ferster ably shows how compelling visual evidence can supplement and advance scholarly arguments. This book will provide a deep resource for robust scholarship in a digital age." — Dan Cohen, Director, Center for History and New Media, George Mason University

"I am unacquainted with any book in the humanities that so clearly and usefully lays out the process of creating visualizations, taking students from conceptualization to data collection to representation. This book should be required reading for all digital humanists." — David J. Staley, Director,The Goldberg Center; Associate Professor of History, The Ohio State University

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780262018159
  • Publisher: MIT Press
  • Publication date: 10/31/2012
  • Pages: 296
  • Sales rank: 1,529,141
  • Product dimensions: 7.30 (w) x 9.02 (h) x 0.88 (d)

Meet the Author

Bill Ferster is on the faculty of the University of Virginia with a joint appointment to the Center for Technology and Teacher Education at the Curry School of Education and at the Science, Humanities, and Arts Network of Technological Initiatives (SHANTI) at the College of Arts and Sciences.

Ben Shneiderman is Professor of Computer Science and Founding Director (1983—2000) of the Human-Computer Interaction Laboratory at the University of Maryland, College Park.

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Table of Contents

Foreword Ben Shneiderman ix

Preface xiii

I About Interactive Visualization 1

1 Introduction 3

II An Assertive Approach to Visualization 43

2 Ask a Question 45

3 Search for Information 63

4 Structure the Information 75

5 Envision the Answer 87

6 Represent the Visualization 107

7 Tell a Story Using Data 175

8 Visualization in the Classroom 187

9 The Internet 203

10 Statistics 213

11 Using Spreadsheets 221

12 Databases and XML 241

13 Accessibility 245

14 About VisualEyes 251

Further Reading 257

References 259

Index 265

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