Publications Published Works

2017

Past Visions and Reconciling Views: Visualizing Time, Texture and Themes in Cultural Collections

— DHQ: Digital Humanities Quarterly. 11:2 2017

We present a case study on visualizing a collection of historic drawings along its metadata structure while also allowing for close examination of the artifacts’ texture. With regards to the specific character of cultural heritage at the intersection of research, education, and public interest, the presented visualization environment aims at meeting the requirements of both researchers as well as a broader public. We present the results from a collaborative interdisciplinary research project that involved a cultural heritage foundation, art historians, designers, and computer scientists. The case study examines the potential of visualization when applied to, and developed for, cultural heritage collections. It specifically explores how techniques aimed at visualizing the quantitative structure of a collection can be coupled with a more qualitative mode that allows for detailed examination of the artifacts and their contexts by displaying high-resolution views of digitized cultural objects with detailed art historical research findings. Making use of latest web technologies, the resulting visualization environment allows for dynamic filtering and zooming of a collection of visual resources that are arranged along a contextualized timeline. We share insights from our collaborative design process and the feedback and usage data gathered during the deployment of the resulting prototype as a web application. We end with a discussion of transferability of carefully crafted and collaboratively negotiated visualizations of cultural heritage and raise questions concerning the applicability of our approach to related strands of humanities research.

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Von sammlungsspezifischen Visualisierungen zu nachnutzbaren Werkzeugen

— in: Konferenzband zur DHd 2017 Bern - Digitale Nachhaltigkeit 2017

Die Entwicklung digitaler Werkzeuge lässt sich als wichtiger Teilbereich in den Digital Humanities identifizieren (Davis und Kräutli 2015; Schnapp et al. 2009). Entsprechende Forschung und Projektarbeit steht dabei komplexen Herausforderungen gegenüber. Nicht nur die Frage nach verfügbaren Daten, methodologischer Fundierung und technologischer Umsetzbarkeit, sondern auch die Frage nach deren langfristigen Verfügbarmachung sind wiederkehrende Themen in den Diskursen der letzten Jahre. Eine zentrale Rolle für die Sicherstellung von Qualität und Anwendbarkeit der digitalen Werkzeuge, die sowohl für textbasierte Forschung als auch im Bereich der Kunstgeschichte und Bildwissenschaften entwickelt werden, ist die Einbindung von Forscher_innen der jeweiligen geisteswissenschaftlichen Disziplinen im Entwicklungsprozess (Drucker 2013). Gleichzeitig lässt sich die zentrale Bedeutung von Interfacedesign, Nutzungsanleitungen und Benutzerfreundlichkeit als wichtige Faktoren für die Etablierung von digitalen Werkzeugen im Forschungsprozess feststellen (Gibbs und Owens 2012). Doch selbst wenn diese Herausforderungen bewältigt werden und ein digitales Werkzeug (erfolgreich) entwickelt wurde, stellt sich weiterhin die Frage, wie die langfristige Nachnutzung im Sinne einer digitalen Nachhaltigkeit sichergestellt werden kann. Am Beispiel des Entstehungsprozesses einer sammlungsspezifischen Visualisierung und deren Weiterentwicklung zu einem nachnutzbaren Werkzeug für diverse Bildbestände werden einige zentrale Aspekte der beeinflussenden Faktoren und Lösungsansätze vorgestellt. Unser Beitrag stellt sich somit der Frage, wie sichergestellt werden kann, dass digitale Tools auch über die Laufzeit von Förderprojekten hinaus (und unabhängig von spezifischen Use-cases) dauerhaft nutzbar und weiterentwickelbar sind.

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2016

Museale Bestände im Web: Eine Untersuchung von acht digitalen Sammlungen

— in: Konferenzband zur 23. Berliner Veranstaltung der internationalen EVA-Serie: Electronic Media and Visual Arts 2016

Museen erweitern ihr Vermittlungsangebot immer mehr über die physische Einrichtung hinaus, u.a. durch die Bereitstellung Digitaler Sammlungen im Web. Digitale Sammlungen zeichnen sich dadurch aus, dass die in ihnen gezeigten Objekte speziell für das Web aufbereitet und präsentiert werden. Der Anspruch besteht dabei darin, die Gesamtheit der musealen Sammlungen zur Verfügung zu stellen. Um diese umfassenden Datensätze zugänglich und ein Schlendern durch die Bestände zu ermöglichen, wird innerhalb der Digitalen Sammlungen zunehmend ein sogenannter Explore-Modus angeboten. Auf der Basis einer Untersuchung des Begriffes der Exploration wurden im Rahmen dieser Arbeit acht bekannte Museen im Hinblick auf die Explore-Modi ihrer Digitalen Sammlungen miteinander verglichen und analysiert. Es wurde eine dreiteilige Methode mit dem Namen Reverse Information Architecture entwickelt, um die folgende Frage zu beantworten: Wie manifestiert sich die Funktion der Exploration in der Struktur und den Interface-Elementen der Digitalen Sammlungen? Mit der entwickelten Methode wird der Inhalt der Websites analysiert, um zu untersuchen, inwiefern Konzepte der Exploration in den Digitalen Sammlungen umgesetzt werden.

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Staged Analysis: From Evocative to Comparative Visualizations of Urban Mobility

— Proceedings of the IEEE VIS Arts Program, VISAP'16 2016

In this paper we examine the concept of staged analysis through a case study on visualizing urban mobility exhibited in a public gallery space. Recently, many cities introduced bike-sharing in order to promote cycling among locals and visitors. We explore how citizens can be guided from evocative impressions of bicycling flows to comparative analysis of three bike-sharing systems. The main aim for visualizations in exhibition contexts is to encourage a shift from temporary interest to deeper insight into a complex phenomenon. To pursue this ambition we introduce cf. city flows, a comparative visualization environment of urban bike mobility designed to help citizens casually analyze three bike-sharing systems in the context of a public exhibition space. Multiple large screens show the space of flows in bike-sharing for three selected world cities: Berlin, London, and New York. Bike journeys are represented in three geospatial visualizations designed to be progressively more analytical, from animated trails to small-multiple glyphs. In this paper, we describe our design concept and process, the exhibition setup, and discuss some of the insights visitors gained while interacting with the visualizations.

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Linking structure, texture and context in a visualization of historical drawings by Frederick William IV (1795-1861)

— in: International Journal for Digital Art History; No 2 2016

In this article we present a case study on digital representation of the art historical research and metadata brought together for a scientific collection catalogue by the Prussian Palaces and Gardens Foundation Berlin-Brandenburg. The resulting interface aims at linking the structure and texture of a collection of drawings by Frederick William IV of Prussia (1795–1861) with additional contextual information. The article describes the context of the larger research project and presents the resulting visualization and interaction techniques specifically designed for dynamic exploration along time and subjects.

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Rewiring science-policy with visual information design

  • Owen Gaffney
  • Marian Dörk
  • Jason Dykes
  • Greg McInerny
  • Denise Young
— Future Earth Media Lab 2016
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Shanghai Metro Flow

— Leonardo 2016

One of the main characteristics of cities is the large amount of people moving around. These flows are reflected in all the subways dashing through the city. With our work we strive to give an impression of this pulse of the city. We present Shanghai Metro Flow, consisting of an animated visualization composed of three scenes, each giving another perspective into the metro network, and an accompanying poster showing subway line details. Each visualization combines established techniques with a highly aesthetic form in order to attract people to observe and dwell on different aspects of urban mobility.

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Culturegraphy

— Leonardo 2016

Culturegraphy visualizes the exchange of cultural information over time. Treating cultural works as nodes and influences as directed edges the visualization of these cultural networks can provide new insights into the rich interconnections of cultural development such as movie references. All findings were made in a process that involved network scientists, a media theorist, and a sociologist. The role that visualization can play in bridging scientific communities was central to this work. In this sense, the resulting visualizations were process to bring researchers from different disciplines together. Traditionally using different methods, physicists increasingly ask similar questions as media theorists or sociologists as they study the dynamics in networks. Visualization can serve as a common language that brings fields together, shows differences, but also has its own idiosyncratic views.

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2015

Archival Liveness: Designing with Collections Before and During Cataloguing and Digitization

  • Tom Schofield
  • David Kirk
  • Telmo Amaral
  • Marian Dörk
  • Mitchell Whitelaw
  • Guy Schofield
  • Thomas Ploetz
— DHQ: Digital Humanities Quarterly. 9:3 2015

We present “archival liveness” as a concept in design and the Digital Humanities and describe its development within a Research Through Design process. Working with a newly acquired archive of contemporary poetry we produced designs that both manifested and “geared in to” [Durrant 2011] [Gurwitsch 1979] the temporal rhythms of the work and infrastructure of archiving. Drawing on user-centred work with participants, often poets themselves, we focused on marginalia as a material feature of the archive, developing a drawing machine and live Twitter bot. Our work addresses institutional concerns for outreach and engagement while also acknowledging and exploiting the inevitably incomplete or live character of archival collections. For designers working with digital archives, we demonstrate the pragmatic and critical value of liveness as a focus of the design process.

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Making three Cases for Casual Geovisualizations on Interactive Surfaces

— DEXIS Workshop on Data Exploration for Interactive Surfaces at ACM ITS 2015

In this paper, we present three case studies on visualizing spatiotemporal data on interactive tabletops and surfaces for casual use. While there is a growing interest among citizens to make sense of their social community and urban environment, most existing geovisualization tools have been designed for experts such as planners and analysts. We introduce situation-specific visualization systems that were particularly designed for public exhibitions to balance powerful data exploration methods with inviting accessibility for laypeople. Finally, we discuss some of the lessons learned regarding people’s interest, interaction conventions, and information aesthetics.

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Museum im Display. Visualisierung kultureller Sammlungen (VIKUS)

— in: Konferenzband zur 22. Berliner Veranstaltung der internationalen EVA-Serie: Electronic Media and Visual Arts 2015

Im Rückgriff auf Ausstellungspraktiken im Museum stellt der Artikel Bezüge zwischen Erkenntnissen aus der Visualisierungsforschung und der Rezeption von Museumssammlungen in einem Ausstellungsdisplay her. Besondere Beachtung finden hierbei Makro- und Mikroperspektiven auf Sammlungen und Darstellungen im (digitalen) Display eines Museums. Visualisierungen können einen offenen und explorativen Zugang zu den digitalisierten Beständen bieten, der eher den Ausstellungs- und Vermittlungsaktivitäten des Museums entspricht oder diese ergänzt. Dabei werden die Potenziale der digitalen Präsentation herausgearbeitet und Anhand von Use Cases aus der Forschung illustriert, welche Ansätze in der facettierten und „kuratierten“ Inszenierung von Sammlungen umgesetzt werden können.

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Probing Projections: Interaction Techniques for Interpreting Arrangements and Errors of Dimensionality Reductions

— InfoVis 2015

We introduce a set of integrated interaction techniques to interpret and interrogate dimensionality-reduced data. Projection techniques generally aim to make a high-dimensional information space visible in form of a planar layout. However, the meaning of the resulting data projections can be hard to grasp. It is seldom clear why elements are placed far apart or close together and the inevitable approximation errors of any projection technique are not exposed to the viewer. Previous research on dimensionality reduction focuses on the efficient generation of data projections, interactive customisation of the model, and comparison of different projection techniques. There has been only little research on how the visualization resulting from data projection is interacted with. We propose a set of interactive visualization methods to examine the dimensionality-reduced data as well as the projection itself. The methods let viewers see approximation errors, question the positioning of elements, compare them to each other, and visualize the influence of data dimensions on the projection space. We created a web-based system implementing these methods, and report on findings from an evaluation with data analysts using the prototype to examine multidimensional datasets.

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Micro Visualizations: Data-driven typography and graphical text enhancement

— InfoVis Poster 2015

At the intersection of information visualization and typography lies the design space of micro visualization, a family of basic techniques enriching text in regard of its accessibility, comprehensibility, and memorability. We propose a taxonomy that differentiates specific types of visualizations applied to text design and layout. We elaborate two main approaches to aligning the visual appearance of a text and its content. The first explores the addition of graphical elements embedded into or adjacent to a text, while the other approach explores the visual modification of a text by means of typographic visualization. For this we evaluate how different techniques can be used as visual variables.

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Are there networks in maps? An experimental visualization of personal movement data

— Poster at VIS 2015

Shifted Maps proposes a novel visualization method to generate personal geovisualizations of individual movement data. The resulting visual appearance can be characterized as a map network consisting of visited places and their connections. The visited places are shown as circular map extracts scaled according to the time spent there and the movements between the places are represented as edges between the places. A key feature of the Shifted Maps visualization is the possibility to explore the data in three different arrangements based on geo-spatial position, travel time, and frequency of movements. By combining map and network visualizations of movement data, it becomes possible to analyze and compare spatial and temporal topologies.

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Visualising the »Un-seen«: Towards Critical Approaches and Strategies of Inclusion in Digital Cultural Heritage Interfaces

— in: KuI (Kultur und Informatik) Cross Media. Busch et al. (Hrsg.) Berlin 2015

In recent years, access to cultural heritage has been closely connected to digitisation. We argue the case for recognising this digital shift as an opportunity to create interfaces to cultural heritage that are, first of all, more inviting to the public. Secondly, we want to encourage critical approaches towards the representation of cultural production and allow for alternative or even conflicting narratives and interpretations to surface. We present related work, use cases, and concepts for visualisations and interfaces that invite the reconsideration of modes of categorisation, presentation and clustering. Our intent is to develop ways to scrutinise modes of exclusion, carry out critical evaluations and pursue interventional strategies. We discuss the specific potential of visualisation, annotation and dynamic expansion of digital cultural collections. Building on critical approaches in human-computer interaction, visualisation and cultural theories, we explore how the interface could be a means of reflection, critique and inclusion.

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WordWanderer: A Navigational Approach to Text Visualisation

— Corpora 10(1),April 2015

Text visualisations provide visual representations of documents or small corpora with the primary aim of supporting language analysis. We are interested in developing a more playful approach to language that can be characterised by the notion of wandering as an open-ended movement. To support such a casual form of engagement with text, we designed the WordWanderer system: a visualisation technique that extends tag clouds into a navigational interface for text. The tool supports the gradual movement between word ‘context views’, which represent the words that co-occur in the vicinity of the selected word, and word-‘comparison views’, which arrange words based on their association strengths between two selected words. We report on the encouraging feedback from a ten-day deployment of the interface and present promising directions for future design and research.

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2014

Traffic Origins: A Simple Visualization Technique to Support Traffic Incident Analysis

— PacificVis 2014

Traffic incidents such as road accidents and vehicle breakdowns are a major source of travel uncertainty and delay, but the mechanism by which they cause heavy traffic is not fully understood. Traffic management controllers are tasked with routing repair and clean up crews to clear the incident and often have to do so under time pressure and with imperfect information. To aid their decision making and help them understand how past incidents affected traffic, we propose Traffic Origins, a simple method to visualize the impact road incidents have on congestion. Just before a traffic incident occurs, we mark the incident location with an expanding circle to uncover the underlying traffic flow map and when it ends, the circle recedes. This not only directs attention to upcoming events, but also allows us to observe the impact traffic incidents have on vehicle flow in the immediate vicinity and the cascading effect multiple incidents can have on a road network. We illustrate this technique using road incident and traffic flow data from Singapore.

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Visual Filter: Graphical Exploration of Network Security Log Files

— VizSec 2014

Network log files often need to be investigated manually for suspicious activity. The huge amount of log lines complicates maintaining an overview, navigation and quick pattern identification. We propose a system that uses an interactive visualization, a visual filter, representing the whole log in an overview, allowing to navigate and make context-preserving subselections with the visualization and in this way reducing the time and effort for security experts needed to identify patterns in the log file. This explorative interactive visualization is combined with focused querying to search for known suspicious terms that are then highlighted in the visualization and the log file itself.

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Weaving a Carpet from Log Entries: a Network Security Visualization Built with Co-Creation

— VAST 2014

We created a pixel map for multi-variate data based on an analysis of the needs of network security engineers. Parameters of a log record are shown as pixels and these pixels get stacked to represent a record. This allows a broad view of a data set on one screen while staying very close to the raw data and to expose common and rare patterns of user behavior through the visualization itself (the “Carpet”). Visualizations that immediately point to areas of suspicious activity without requiring extensive fltering, help network engineers investigating unknown computer security incidents. Most of them, however, have limited knowledge of advanced visualization techniques, while many designers and data scientists are unfamiliar with computer security topics. To bridge this gap, we developed visualizations together with engineers, following a co-creative process. We will show how we explored the scope of the engineers’ tasks and how we jointly developed ideas and designs. Our expert evaluation indicates that this visualization helps to scan large parts of log fles quickly and to defne areas of interest for closer inspection.

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Isoscope — Visualizing temporal mobility variance with isochrone maps

  • Flavio Gortana
  • Sebastian Kaim
  • Martin von Lupin
  • Till Nagel
— VIS 2014

Isochrone maps are an established method to depict areas of equal travel time, and have been used in transportation planning since the early 20th century. In recent years, interactive isochrone maps allowed users to select areas of interest, or explore temporal mobility patterns for different modes of transport. However, conventional isochrone maps depict one traffic situation at a time. Our visualization approach unifies isochrone maps with time-varying travel data, and instead of showing multiple isolines for different travel times, we show multiple isolines for different times of day in order to reveal time-dependent spatial travel variance. In this paper, we present Isoscope, a web application that provides an interactive map for casual exploration of urban mobility patterns. Through its aesthetic visual form and its simple interface we strive to support people casually investigating travel time in their own city. We will describe our design goals, elaborate on the design and implementation of our prototype, and discuss limitations and future extensions of the system.

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Culturegraphy — Visualizing Cultural Network Dynamics

— AHCN 2014

Culturegraphy visualizes cultural information exchange over time. Treating cultural works as nodes and influences as directed edges, the visualization of these cultural networks can provide new insights into the rich interconnections of cultural development. The graphics represent complex relationships of movie references by combining macro views summarizing 100 years of movie influences with micro views providing a close-up look at the embedding of individual movies. The macro view shows the rise of the self-referential character of postmodern cinema, while the micro level illustrates differences between individual movies, when they were referenced and by whom. The visualizations provide views that are closer to the real complexity of the relationships than aggregated views or rankings could do.

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Touching Transport – A Case Study on Visualizing Metropolitan Public Transit on Interactive Tabletops

  • Till Nagel
  • Martina Maitan
  • Erik Duval
  • Andrew Vande Moere
  • Joris Klerkx
  • Kristian Kloeckl
  • Carlo Ratti
— AVI 2014

Due to recent technical developments, urban systems generate large and complex data sets. While visualizations have been used to make these accessible, often they are tailored to one specific group of users, typically the public or expert users. We present Touching Transport, an application that allows a diverse group of users to visually explore public transit data on a multi-touch tabletop. It provides multiple perspectives of the data and consists of three visualization modes conveying tempo-spatial patterns as map, time-series, and arc view. We exhibited our system publicly, and evaluated it in a lab study with three distinct user groups: citizens with knowledge of the local environment, experts in the domain of public transport, and non-experts with neither local nor domain knowledge. Our observations and evaluation results show we achieved our goals of both attracting visitors to explore the data while enabling gathering insights for both citizens and experts. We discuss the design considerations in developing our system, and describe our lessons learned in designing engaging tabletop visualizations.

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Monadic Exploration: Seeing the Whole Through Its Parts

— CHI 2014

Monadic exploration is a new approach to interacting with relational information spaces that challenges the distinction between the whole and its parts. Building on the work of sociologists Gabriel Tarde and Bruno Latour we turn to the concept of the monad as a useful lens on online communities and collections that expands the possibility for creating meaning in their navigation. While existing interfaces tend to emphasize either the structure of the whole or details of a part, monadic exploration brings these opposing perspectives closer together in continuous movements between partially overlapping points of view. We present a visualization that reflects a given node’s relative position within a network using radial displacements and visual folding. To investigate the potential of monadic exploration we report on an iterative design process of a web-based visualization of a highly cross-referenced book and its six-month deployment.

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Exploring the Promises and Potentials of Visual Archive Interfaces

— iConference 2014

A photo archive contains diverse narratives that only get partially exposed in digital interfaces. In this paper we explore a potential framework for archivists and designers to create photo archive interfaces that are sensitive to the ethos and social context of its content. We outline our approach to engaging with archival projects and present the results of a pilot workshop, which raised a range of complex questions about the design of visual interfaces. Our aim is to practically and conceptually expand how a visual interface would let a visitor access, explore, and interpret the contents of an archive. To do this we are interested in the different associations that people weave between the artefacts of an archive.

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Visually Exploring Books Along Their Subject Headings

— iConference 2014

We present a visualization of subject headings that typically accompany books as flat textual metadata. The purpose of the visualization is twofold: first to expose the implicit structure in subject headings as an overview of a library collection and second to present a visual web of keywords to invite exploration of books. Taking a tag cloud as a starting point, the visualization extends it to a networked tag cloud that respects the hierarchy that is implicit in subject headings. By allowing an information seeker to successively build a subject filter, while seeing the results at each step, we hope to improve the searcher’s orientation in a comprehensive book collection.

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2013

Blended Prototyping Design for Mobile Applications

— Design Modelling Symposium 2013

Our work investigates concepts and methods for the design, creation, and application of prototypes for mobile software. It analyzes and compares existing prototyping approaches and develops a new prototyping paradigm called Blended Prototyping.

The general function of a prototype is to generate insights into an idea, which is not fully realized yet. These insights identify mistakes at an early state, and therefore help to avoid expensive misguided developments. A prototype’s value depends on its ability to communicate the exact questions, relevant at the given development stage. Existing prototyping approaches have problems to facilitate collaborative design discussions in bigger teams. Moreover, prototypes generated by these approaches can often just be implemented with such limited functionality, that they can solely be used in early development stages.

Blended Prototyping addresses these issues in using pen paper sketches as a central design element for the prototyping process. It promotes creative work in an interdisciplinary collaborative design and development process. To be applicable in the earliest design phases already, blended prototypes can be created as quickly and easily as possible; they allow however enough complexity to be relevant for the development for as many prototype iterations as needed.

This text describes the Blended Prototyping approach and its implementation in a first running version. It displays important design and interaction processes used in the platform and discusses the results generated by a first practice study with an external development team.

Rethinking Prototyping: Proceedings of the Design Modelling Symposium Berlin

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Interaktive Karten und Geovisualisierungen

  • Frank Heidmann
— Interaktive Infografiken 2013

Karten dienen seit Jahrtausenden als Repräsentationen räumlichen Wissens. Aufgrund ihrer herausragenden Fähigkeit zur Visualisierung von Geoinformationen gehörten sie allzeit zu den begehrtesten Artefakten der jeweils Herrschenden. Neben der Visualisierung von Geoinformationen dienten sie zur Kommunikation politischer und oftmals ideologischer Standpunkte im Zusammenhang mit dem Raumbezug (Crampton 2010; Meng 2009; Monmonier 1996).

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A Visual Survey of Arc Diagrams

— VIS 2013

Surveys are a common way of providing an overview over a family of visualization techniques. In this poster we focused on arc diagrams, which are an established method to visualize relations between nodes in a simple path graph, and are laid out in one dimension. We collected a wide range of examples of arc diagrams with different characteristics. Following Jurgensmann and Schulz’s poster on tree visualizations we present our collection as a visual survey. As a result, our poster acts as visual reference and as inspirational source.

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Unfolding — A Library for Interactive Maps

  • Till Nagel
  • Joris Klerkx
  • Andrew Vande Moere
  • Erik Duval
— SouthCHI 2013

Visualizing data with geo-spatial properties has become more important and prevalent due to the wide spread dissemination of devices, sensors, databases, and services with references to the physical world. Yet, with existing tools it is often difficult to create interactive geovisualizations tailored for a particular domain or a specific dataset. We present Unfolding, a library for interactive maps and data visualization. Unfolding provides an API for designers to quickly create and customize geo-visualizations. In this paper, we describe the design criteria, the development process, and the functionalities of Unfolding. We demonstrate its versatility in use through a collection of examples. Results from a user survey suggests programmers find the library easy to learn and to use.

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Indexicality and Visualization: Exploring Analogies with Art, Cinema and Photography

— C&C 2013

In this paper we offer a critical discussion of data visualization by adapting theories of indexicality as discussed in semiotics and art history. An indexical statement is broadly one whose meaning is dependent on context. We examine how indexicality has informed practices in cinema, photography, and contemporary art and make comparisons with data visualization. Specifically, we explore how these analogies can result in generative concepts that can inform the design and study of data visualization.

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Critical InfoVis: Exploring the Politics of Visualization

  • Marian Dörk
  • Christopher Collins
  • Patrick Feng
  • Sheelagh Carpendale
— CHI 2013

As information visualization is increasingly used to raise awareness about social issues, difficult questions arise about the power of visualization. So far the research community has not given sufficient thought to how values and assumptions pervade information visualization. Taking engaging visualizations as a starting point, we outline a critical approach that promotes disclosure, plurality, contingency, and empowerment. Based on this approach, we pose some challenges and opportunities for visualization researchers and practitioners.

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Accentuating Visualization Parameters to Guide Exploration

— CHI 2013

We present a new method for displaying visualization parameters to guide casual data exploration. When visualizing datasets with large parameter spaces it can be difficult to move between data views. Building on social navigation and degree-of-interest visualization, we propose the concept of accentuation as the selection and emphasis of visualization parameters based on social and semantic signals. We describe how we designed an accentuated visualization interface, and discuss open challenges and directions for future research.

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Unfolding — A Simple Library for Interactive Maps and Geovisualizations in Processing

  • Till Nagel
  • Frank Heidmann
  • Erik Duval
  • Joris Klerkx
  • Andrew Vande Moere
— GeoViz 2013

Many thematic maps and geovisualizations nowadays are being created by designers, journalists, and other non cartographers. Yet, with existing tools it is often difficult to create interactive data visualizations tailored for a particular domain or a specific dataset. We present Unfolding, a library to simplify the creation of interactive maps and geovisualizations. Unfolding provides an API to quickly create and customize visualization applications. In this paper, we introduce the design and functionality of our library. We demonstrate its usability through a collection of examples, and confirm the apparent need of such map library by describing its acceptance in the community.

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2012

Da musste ich immer mal hin (I had to go there)

— Leipziger Buchmesse 2012

When Paul moves into the apartment, it is most of the time very cold. We discover the tray that can be pulled out from beneath the kitchen sink. And then there is New Years Eve.

A limited-edition photobook with fragments of memories.

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Fummel da jetzt nicht rum! (Don‘t touch this!)

— Master’s thesis 2012

Interventions and ice breaker in anonymous neighbourhoods.

A mimosa in an elevator, a living room in the park, a story box on tour – and how far reaches neighbourhood?
In a high-rise building with 136 residential units are living comparatively so many neighbors like in a village. However, the coexistence is mostly anonymous.

»You can not make contact with all neighbors. So you cut yourself off and stay alone« (resident). On the ridge between anonymity and liability the work especially strives for embracing so-called weak ties, which are important for the quality of life. With the help of interventions the reference of people to their immediate environment is being explored and the existing neighbourhood concept gets questioned.

Master‘s thesis, University of Applied Sciences. Potsdam, 2012.
Mentor: Prof. Dr. Frank Heidmann, Prof. Reto Wettach

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Sankey Arcs — Visualizing edge weights in path graphs

  • Till Nagel
  • Erik Duval
  • Andrew Vande Moere
  • Kristian Kloeckl
  • Carlo Ratti
— Eurovis 2012

Arc diagrams allow exploring relations and their strength between sequential nodes. Previous solutions suffer from displaying all arcs at the center of a node, which can lead to visual obstruction. We present a new technique, which extends the arc diagram technique by laying out the weighted edges of a node adjacent to each other. The aim of our Sankey Arc technique is to improve clarity, to enable users perceiving and comparing weighted edges in path graphs. The technique is illustrated using a dataset on travel paths in a public transit network.

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Interactive Exploration of a Geospatial Network Visualization

— CHI EA 2012

This paper presents a tabletop visualization of relations between geo-positioned locations. We developed an interactive visualization, which enables users to visually explore a geospatial network of actors. The multitouch tabletop, and the large size of the interactive surface invite users to explore the visualization in semi-public spaces. For a case study on scientific collaborations between institutions, we applied and improved several existing techniques for a walk-up-and-use system aimed at scientists for a social setting at a conference. We describe our iterative design approach, our two implemented prototypes, and the lessons learnt from their creation. We conducted user evaluation studies at the two on-location demonstrations, which provide evidence of the prototype usability and usefulness, and its support for understanding the distribution and connectivity in a geospatial network.

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Learning dashboards & learnscapes

  • Erik Duval
  • Joris Klerkx
  • Katrien Verbert
  • Till Nagel
  • Sten Govaerts
  • Gonzalo Parra
  • Jose Luis Santos
  • Bram Vandeputte
— EIST 2012

In this paper, we briefly present our work on applications for ‘learning analytics’. Our work ranges from dashboards on small mobile devices to learnscapes on large public displays. We capture and visualize traces of learning activities, in order to promote self-awareness and reflection, and to enable learners to define goals and track progress towards these goals. We identify HCI issues for this kind of applications.

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PivotPaths: Strolling through Faceted Information Spaces

  • Marian Dörk
  • Nathalie Henry Riche
  • Gonzalo Ramos
  • Susan Dumais
— InfoVis 2012

We present PivotPaths, an interactive visualization for exploring faceted information resources. During both work and leisure, we increasingly interact with information spaces that contain multiple facets and relations, such as authors, keywords, and citations of academic publications, or actors and genres of movies. To navigate these interlinked resources today, one typically selects items from facet lists resulting in abrupt changes from one subset of data to another. While filtering is useful to retrieve results matching specific criteria, it can be difficult to see how facets and items relate and to comprehend the effect of filter operations. In contrast, the PivotPaths interface exposes faceted relations as visual paths in arrangements that invite the viewer to `take a stroll’ through an information space. PivotPaths supports pivot operations as lightweight interaction techniques that trigger gradual transitions between views. We designed the interface to allow for casual traversal of large collections in an aesthetically pleasing manner that encourages exploration and serendipitous discoveries. This paper shares the findings from our iterative design-and-evaluation process that included semi-structured interviews and a two-week deployment of PivotPaths applied to a large database of academic publications.

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Navigating Tomorrow’s Web: From Searching and Browsing to Visual Exploration

— TWEB 2012

We propose a new way of navigating the Web using interactive information visualizations, and present encouraging results from a large-scale Web study of a visual exploration system. While the Web has become an immense, diverse information space, it has also evolved into a powerful software platform. We believe that the established interaction techniques of searching and browsing do not sufficiently utilize these advances, since information seekers have to transform their information needs into specific, text-based search queries resulting in mostly text-based lists of resources. In contrast, we foresee a new type of information seeking that is high-level and more engaging, by providing the information seeker with interactive visualizations that give graphical overviews and enable query formulation. Building on recent work on faceted navigation, information visualization, and exploratory search, we conceptualize this type of information navigation as visual exploration and evaluate a prototype Web-based system that implements it. We discuss the results of a large-scale, mixed-method Web study that provides a better understanding of the potential benefits of visual exploration on the Web, and its particular performance challenges.

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Fluid Views: A Zoomable Search Environment

— AVI 2012

We present Fluid Views, a web-based search environment designed to bridge overview and detail by integrating dynamic queries, semantic zooming, and dual layers. The most common form of search results is long ranked and paginated lists, which are seldom examined beyond the top ten items. To support more exploratory forms of information seeking, we bring together the notion of relevance with the power of visual encoding. In Fluid Views, results portray relevance via size and detail in a dynamic top layer and semantic similarity via position on a base map. We designed Fluid Views with temporal, spatial, and content-defined base maps for both textual and visual resources, and tested our prototype system on books, blogs, and photos. Interviews with library professionals indicate the potential of Fluid Views for exploring collections and exciting directions for future research.

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Visualizing Explicit and Implicit Relations of Complex Information Spaces

— Information Visualization journal 2012

In this work, we describe how EdgeMaps provide a new method for integrating the visualization of explicit and implicit data relations. Explicit relations are specific connections between entities already present in a given data set, while implicit relations are derived from multidimensional data based on similarity measures. Many data sets include both types of relations, which are often difficult to represent together in information visualizations. Node-link diagrams typically focus on explicit data connections while not incorporating implicit similarities between entities. Multidimensional scaling considers similarities between items; however, explicit links between nodes are not displayed. In contrast, EdgeMaps visualize both explicit and implicit relations by combining graph drawing and spatiatization techniques. We have applied this technique to three case studies [philosophers, painters, and musicians] and explored how integrated visualizations of explicit and implicit relations reveal novel patterns and relationships.

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2011

Trust Thy Neighbour: Exploring Information Sharing in anonymous Urban Setting to Support Trust Generation

— CHI Sparks Conference 2011

Trust, along with social capital, has been in decline since reaching a peak in the 1960’s. Trust in society has been identified as being very beneficial: trusting communities fare better on a range of issues. Certain types of trust, familiarity- and strategic based, lend itself to facilitation through ICT, but require the sharing of information. Through a workshop conducted in a high-rise building in Berlin we explored the possibilities of information sharing among neighbours. We conclude that there is willingness to share, but life cycle or age influences the interest in establishing trust in the neighbourhood.

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