Visualisation technology in its broadest sense

Elwood mentions many technologies/applications but seems to focus on geoweb and VGI. However, these are hardly the only interesting and new developments in visualisation. Wiki maps, Google Maps, and other internet based mapping tools all do the same thing – they work on visualising data on a traditional 2D plane. Sometimes you’ll get interactive symbology (like what kmls are capable of). I may be reading the article the wrong way, but I don’t quit understand what the focus on VGI has to do with visualisation. Certainly, products like Google Maps allows many users to contribute to a single dataset, thus bringing up problems of semantics when applying tags, but this is hardly a new problem brought about by a new visualisation platform. These sorts of problems have been around since before participatory GIS/VGI, but have only been blown up due to a much larger number of contributors.
The section on tagging and ontology is interesting – but does this affect ‘visualisation’ or analysis and querying? Perhaps the title of the article should not just be ‘geovisualisation’ technologies. When I read the title, I assumed the article would be purely about new methods to display data, and the effects they have on the way we think (perhaps focusing on things like dynamic zooming in products like Google Maps, or displaying of attributes). The use of the word ‘technology’ can be a little limiting at times.

The ‘real’ new technologies of visualisation should be in things like future 3D hologram displays (the real kind, not the stuff with the smoke and lasers) – these are the new forms of visualisation that, when they come to market, will have a real impact on how we choose to display data (such as, how to take into consideration that the audience is no longer viewing from a fixed angle).

The MacEachren and Kraak article is very interesting in the crosscutting research challenges section. They make a very good point that visualisation needs to develop with other areas like interfaces, since the way we interface with the data is also a key part of the experience. I found this article a little more relevant, but it is still at an exploratory stage, so gives some rather vague recommendations at times.

Final though: while visualisation technology is intertwined with other issues of data, interfaces etc., if we don’t just talk about the purely representational part of visualisation technologies, why are we using those two words?



One Response to “Visualisation technology in its broadest sense”

  1. Peck says:

    I take it back. Geovisualisation does include the tools for data analysis as well