SIGIA-L Mail Archives: Re: [Sigia-l] Information Visualization
Re: [Sigia-l] Information Visualization
From: Peter Merholz (peterme_at_peterme.com)
Date: Mon Nov 10 2003 - 18:34:34 EST
I've been something of a renowned InfoViz crank on this mailing list...
When I first came across it, it seemed like it had such promise -- but
then, year after year after year, little if any progress occurs.
I actually don't think the problem is scalability, for two reasons. 1)
Scalability issues, in terms of bandwidth, database calls, cpu cycles,
etc. *will* go away. 2) There are many 'smaller scale' info-viz
applications that don't work.
Pretty much the only successful "consumer oriented" infoviz application
that comes to mind is SmartMoney's Map of the Market
I had the opportunity to interview Marti Hearst about this for an essay
I wrote. Marti worked on a lot of infoviz stuff at Xerox PARC, and is
now a professor at UC Berkeley's SIMS, where she's drifted away from
InfoViz, and towards things like creating better faceted classification
browse interfaces. Anyway, you can read the interview here:
The gist: infoviz doesn't work, by and large, because it's just not
usable, and it doesn't allow people to accomplish tasks in any better
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