About this Blogsphere:

This blogsphere attempts to capture, catalog and share resources relating to visual perception of information. It is about a world mostly dealing with Physical (Touch, Taste, See/Sight, Smell and Hear) and sometimes Metaphysical (and that is none-of-the-above category). Physical, for instance, touch (e.g., feel, felt, found), look and visualization, is here with an attempt to combine verbal, vocal and visual--to synchronously see, hear, share and do much more. Interestingly, in order to visualize one does not need special skills, competencies, etc. It is all about common sense, especially with human visualizations. In short, "information is in the eye of the beholder." Continue reading much more all-ado-about this Blogosphere

Akbani is a Cutchi Memon family name.

March 17, 2006

Information Visualization Demystified

As library and information professional, have so long continued my search to find a nexus between the twain, viz., a) Information Visualization and b) best practices in the library world.

Librarians were aware of the importance of the technique of information visualization. As late as 1999 the rules for cataloging were suppose to visualize this approach:
For example, a user entering a keyword-within-record search for the terms “information visualization” may intend to retrieve a specific work with those terms in the title, but may also be interested in retrieving records for other yet-unknown works that contain those terms in subject-related fields. See the details, Committee on Cataloging: Description and Access, Task Force on the Review of the IFLA Guidelines for OPAC Displays 1999
And the Information Visualization Guru, Ben Shneiderman, was already working on a project as early as 1993, with a OCLC Research grants award

Again, my search was limited to finding a middle path. By middle path, I mean, a path that is neither directly connected with hardware nor with software. Libraries (and their tools such as, indexing, cataloging, classification, metadata, ontology, taxonomies, knowledge work, etc.), feel, felt and found something unique in an avenue (so far untapped) and that avenue is: information visualization.

Definitions of Visualization    visualize:

"to form a mental vision, image, or picture of (something not visible or present to sight, or of an abstraction); to make visible to the mind or imagination" [The Oxford English Dictionary, 1989] see also: Scientific Visualization / Example Definitions

At last, I did succeed and hence the title: Information Visualization Demystified.
To accomplish great things we must first dream, then visualize, then plan… believe… act!     ---Alfred A. Montapert
For the above quote and what follows, I sincerely acknowledge the creative mind of Brad Eden [Head, Web and digitization services, University of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV) Libraries]. Thank you Brad and Debra Riley-huff at LITA Blog for the demystifying information, entitled: 3D Information Visualization: An Introduction and Practical Applications
And so said Riley-huff:
We reviewed some library OPACs that are currently incorporating some type of Information Visualization such as AquaBrowser. You can see an example at the Lexington Public Library

One of the most interesting applications of 3-D Visualization technology can be experienced by taking a look at Cubic Eye. CubicEye breaks out your browser window into a cube with each “wall” functioning as an independent browser window. Individual 3-D elements, if supplied on the Web page, can be rotated on the floor of the cube for further examination.

We also examined several 3-D projects in the humanities, which utilized 3-D technologies to recreate architectural and anthropological sites on the web.

We can utilize these tools in our libraries not only by making our users aware of what is available in terms of completed projects in their subject areas, but also by exploring and incorporating Information Visualization into our service delivery and instruction. The serious consideration and utilization of visual technologies will add an increased level of appeal and interest in a language our users are already fluent in and accustomed to using.

  • See Library Technology Reports: 3D VISUALIZATION TECHNIQUES
    2D and 3D Information Visualization, Resources, Applications, and Future, By Brad Eden, Ph.D.
  • The INVENT framework: Examining the role of information visualization in the reconceptualization of digital libraries, by Karl V. Fast and Kamran Sedig, Journal of Digital Information, Volume 6 Issue 3, Article No. 362, 2005-08-08
  • Above all, Yahoo Directory, lists Dr. Edward Tufte, under the category, viz, Library and Information Science. This should not surprise any one who is by now demystified.

    See also: my webliography:

    >>>Innovative Practices to Connect Every Book, Its Reader
    >>>Mining The Library Catalog
    >>>Information visualization - This blogsphere's perspective

    And don't miss to read: ...Visualization of Information Resources for Professionals, By Tim Bray. Information Outlook, Vol. 6, No. 12, December 2002
    ...Designing Information-Abundant Websites: Issues and Recommendations, Ben Shneiderman Revised: February 26, 1997
    ...Library catalogs, InfoVis:Wiki.
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