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Information Visualization. Trajectories, Traces and Tools for Augmenting Human Intelligence Dr. Ray Uzwyshyn University of Miami Digital Libraries. Egyptian Amanuensis: Thoth Scribe. Weblog. Information Visualization and the Scientific Method. Sumerian Catalog (2000 B.C.)

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information visualization

Information Visualization

Trajectories, Traces and Tools for Augmenting Human Intelligence

Dr. Ray UzwyshynUniversity of Miami Digital Libraries

Egyptian Amanuensis: ThothScribe


information visualization and the scientific method
Information Visualization and the Scientific Method

Sumerian Catalog (2000 B.C.)

Technology: Baked Clay Tablet, Hammer Problem Solved : Limitation of Human Memory Innovation: Visually Iconic Script

New Problem: Information Retrieval, Medium storage – The Bricks are heavy

new technology medium possibility historical dialectic
New Technology, Medium Possibility, Historical Dialectic

Technology: Papyrus, rolled into scrolls, placed in Libraries, lightweightInnovation: reduced character set - Alphabet

Kata + Logos

(list of words)

Technology: Augments Human Intelligence Solves Problem of Previous Technology, Generates New Problem horizon

MetadataList of Scrolls

Kuhn’s Paradigm Shift: Isn’t the clay tablet enough? Problem of previous infrastructures (skillsets, experts)

1 st information renaissance
1st Information Renaissance
  • Gutenberg (Mechanical Reproduction, Moveable Type, 1452)Technology: Printed Book

Solves Problem: Dissemination (Copies, Copyists)Information explosion creates new knowledge, infrastructures, new problem sets: retrieval, organizing relationships between bodies of Information

Augmenting Human Intelligence

flashforward 1876 1985 information design systemization
Flashforward, 1876-1985 Information Design Systemization
  • System Wide Classification of expanding Universe of Knowledge

Melvil Dewey: Dewey Decimal Classification System (1876)Origin of Species (Darwin, 1860)Age of hierarchical tree Taxonomies, systems

  • Library of Congress Printed Cards (1901)Metadata Containers become LargeProblem: Unseen/Fluid Interdisciplinary Relationships among Larger Bibliographic Universe is Lost
1960 1980 s automating 19th century innovation
1960 - 1980’s Automating 19th Century Innovation
  • Microfiche: Card Catalogue on Microfiche, then CD-ROM.
  • Innovation: Reduction Entire Printed card catalog (cabinets) to a small machine space New Problem Set - Lost Larger Context, Non-linear searching
  • Remapping 19th Century Innovation onto 21st Century Technology
1990 s present academic opac catalog google current large scale information retrieval models
1990’s - Present Academic OPAC Catalog & Google: Current Large Scale Information Retrieval Models

Lost Context of Larger Information Universe

Partially solves Linear A- Z analog Search either scanning microfiche or cards, infinite copiesProblem Creates Infinite Scrolling List Syndrome. Not Scalable, How Do Entities Relate

where do we go from here information visualization offers possibilities
Where do we go from here?Information Visualization offers possibilities

GUI : Working on the level of Iconic abstraction: metaphor, narrative, icons used as cognitive tools or pointers

Command Line InterfaceInfinite Scrolling List ParadigmLiteral

Semantic Relationships

Visually Semiotic Relationships


Possibilities of Screenspace

  • Icon harnessed as Cognitive Tool or Visual Metaphor. (Computer/Information Science getting handle on this)Framing or Environmental Metaphors (Desktop or Interface Level Metaphor – not as well established discourse or thought out implementations)

Xerox Parc’s Web Forager, 3D Office,Information Workspace( circa. 1995)

context and future of information visualization
Context and Future of Information Visualization

21th C. Culture Visual Culture

Principal Cultural Codes Visuals Grammars and Codes that we understand from early age(Transparent, Ubiquitous)



Predicated on movement, intuitive narrative, metaphor, humanly understandable, well developed and ‘constructed sets of visuals grammars

paradigm shift of framing metaphors cognitive ecologies
Paradigm Shift of Framing Metaphors (Cognitive Ecologies)

Non-linear motive codes of cinema/tv can also create interactive robust information universes.

Move from Browser Page Metaphor to Stage or Screen Metaphor. Information landscapes for navigating bodies of knowledge to augment intelligence, see larger relationships and create new knowledge.

Navigating Information Universe by

Fly – Through (Iconic remnnant)

Navigating “Information “Universe” by scrolling (remnant)

the next cognitive toys or philosophical toolsets for information science
The Next Cognitive Toys or Philosophical Toolsets for Information Science

Motion, Narratology, Interactivity Harnessed as Information Visualization Tools, for large bodies of Information (data)

1st Phase Study of Visual Grammars, Visual Narrative Codes, Art History, Bertin (Geography) Tufte (Mathematical Statistics)Overlooked bodies of theoretical literature, Cinema Studies: Structural/Formalist studies of Codes of Movement in Time. Visual Semiotics, (Eisentstein, Bazin, Christian Metz – Structural Visual Grammar)

Information Visualization: Larger Purposes Visually Augment Human Intelligence to Facilitate New Knowledge Generation


Infinite StoragePotential,Memory

Information Visualization(HCI)



Front EndInterface

Human User

Global NetworkedPotential of Internet

  • Interactivity + Robust Backend Database Information + Online Connectivity + Theoretically thought out and Visually Iconic Motive Interfaces
visual cognitive cartographies
Visual Cognitive Cartographies
  • ASIST SIG VIS Website

Keywords subject headings mapped to motive interactive 3d Space

3d typographic fly through or 3d cognitive map

Previously Unseen Subject Relationships in Same Visual Space

3D Typographic Fly Through or 3D Cognitive Map.

Future: The trick is to begin thinking about mapping taxonomies visually (i.e. navigating the entire set of LCSH or an entire Robust Academic Library Catalog)

visualization and multimedia
Visualization and Multimedia

Physical/Cognitive Cartographies

Multimedia Digital Library - Zoomable Interface (1800 Mg Map) – Front EndDigital Video, Document and Image Library - Database Back end.

zoomable fly through intuitive navigation

New Visual Interface Possibilities

Zoomable Fly-Through Intuitive Navigation

Context Preserved (Upper Left)/ Humanly Intuitive Map

Link to Image and Video Library Databases

emergent possibilities
Emergent Possibilities
  • 3D Online networked Game Engine paradigm mapped to robust information seeking (academic/e-commerce) possibilities (Information Foraging, hunter/gatherer metaphor for seeking information in large systems)Possibilities are rich.Visual grammars and codes largely unexplored
where has innovation been historically accomplished left brain school of info visualization
Where has Innovation Been Historically Accomplished? Left Brain School of Info. Visualization

Math/computer/information science Ph.D’s Military Technology InnovatorsMedical Researchers (Gene Sequencing)GIS/Spatial Engineers‘Serious’ Purposes: Information Mapping, Organizing Large bodies of information visually, relationally, dynamically. Historically high cost of entry (Computer Power, Warnock & Sutherland in Utah)

Right Brain School of Information Visualization(The Low End or Historically Recent Barbarians at the Gates)

Web Designers (Flash Group, Online Vector Animation tied with Robust Programming Backend) Online Game Designers Graphic Designers (Advertising Catalogs/Database Synthesis)Innovative Usual Suspects (Parc, Maryland, MIT Media Lab)

(Renegade creators interested in Cognitive Cartography, Information Mapping, Information Architecture coming to this intuitively and out of necessity not aware of historical legacy but immersed in techno zeitgeist: games, comics, cinema codes, cool factor)

Lens, Telescope, Microscope, Screen

information visualization digital renaissance horizons largely unexplored
Information VisualizationDigital Renaissance Horizons Largely Unexplored
  • Where is the new innovation to occur regarding Information Visualization or new solutions surrounding Visualizing large amounts of information?
  • Transgressing/Bridging Boundaries/ Borders, marrying high and low, right and leftInfo. Science Paradigms + Game EnginesSerious Purpose + Entertainment Innovation Visual Creativity + Mathematics

Need for Synthetic Renaissance Ideology (Discussion, Implementation/Praxis)


The real voyage of discovery consists of not in seeking new technological landscapes but in learning to see with new eyes.

ProustRemembrance of Things Past

brief information visualization bibliography books
Brief Information Visualization Bibliography - Books

Chen, Chaomei. Information Visualization and Virtual Environments. New York: Springer, 1999. (also, other texts )

Shneiderman, Ben. Card, Stuart K., Mackinlay, Jock D. Readings in Information Visualization. San Francisco: Moran Kaufmann, 1999. (also, other texts)

Spence, Robert. Information Visualization. ACM Press, 2000.

websites links to working applications and current r d
Websites – Links to Working Applications and Current R&D
  • Human Computer Interaction Laboratory (Shneiderman et al., College Park Maryland) (click Visualization)Flashforward (Click on past winners for excellent examples)MIT Media Lab, In particular John Maeda’s Aesthetics and Computation/Visual Language Groups) and Parc Research Group
a few r d developers
A Few R&D Developers
  • Jared Tarbell http://levitated.netEric Natzke http://www.natzke.comYugo Nakamura http://www.yugop.comJoshua Davis
  • Finally, my more informal weblog: horizons of visualization/digital library explorations:
presentation available online
Presentation Available Online
  • Handout available at front
  • Thank You For Coming!Contact Info: Dr. Ray Uzwyshyn, ruzwyshyn@miami.eduUniversity of Miami Digital Library Initiatives