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 31, 2006

Information Visualization: From Aristotle, Plato, to the year 3706

There can be no words without images --- Aristotle

Of all the senses, trust only the sense of sight ---this is paraphrased, and taken from Metaphysics, Aristotle [E.&.O.E., info courtesy Anonymous Blogger]

In the mind’s eye:
This view of the word as preeminent is at odds with millennia of thought. Aristotle said, “There can be no words without images.” Plato gave primacy to sight over all the other senses, saying, “Of all the senses, trust only the sense of sight.” While intellectually extolling the virtue of text over image, Western culture has clearly retained a special place for images. Many of today’s most commonly used phrases suggest we agree with Aristotle and Plato that we perceive primarily through sight: “I see your point,” “Let me see,” “Seeing eye to eye,” “Love at first sight,” “See what I mean,” and, of course, “In the mind’s eye,” just to name a few.
We are, after all, a visual species. Yes, a scent, a taste, a sound, even the texture of an object can evoke powerful memories, but it is sight that adds definition. Think back to the last time you sensed a particular perfume or smelled a favorite food. What images came to mind? Read more from Professional communicators for a digital age, by Cameron Sanders. SOURCE: Creating Digital Content, John Rice & Brian McKernan, Editors, © McGraw-Hill 2001 · POSTED: 04/09/04

The Future historians' perspective:
Archeologists in the year 3706 uncovering the buried ruins of any major city in the world will no doubt find text on billboards, storefronts, traffic signs, and so on in the languages we know and use today. These words however will probably not be understood by 38th Century scientists because languages of today will eventually become obsolete and forgotten. Luckily, there will be an energetic and tenacious researcher with a well-used digging tool who will find along the viaducts and abandoned highways in the old cities evidence of writing that will be instantly recognized and easily read. For amid the buried rubble of civilizations long past will be elaborated and brightly colored signs and symbols created by graffiti artists that will last through the millennia. This often scoffed and criminalized form of visual communication will in the future become the one, universally accepted language. Therefore, the future of mass communications does not reply on the preservation of pens, paper, computers, or satellites. In the vast future, we will understand ancient civilizations because of compressed paint in spray cans. Continue reading Syntactic Theory of Visual Communication, by Paul Martin Lester, Ph.D.

See also: The Art & Practice of Creative Visualization by Ophiel - The Philosophers Stone The Art & Practice of Creative Visualization by Ophiel - There’s more to creative visualization than meets the eye! [ART & PRACTICE OF CREATIVE VISUALIZATION contains unusual, but highly effective prose style intended to appeal to a beginning down home, grass roots reader. The author provides a clear explanation of what visualization is, and why it works]

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.
  • March 11, 2006

    Twenty Percent Rule - Visualizing a Free Lunch

    The 80/20 rule has become 80% information, 20% imagination for me. ME Strauss

    I just reviewed a book: The Google Story, by David Vise, and Mark Malseed. Read my review at Amazon
    This book presents an interesting description of the 20 percent rule (pp. 131-133, 137-140, 212). According to this rule, staff is permitted at Google to be innovative and creative. Wherein, twenty percent of the staff time is spent as-you-like-it.
    At Google there is a 20 percent rule, that encourages employees to be creative and innovative. Employees are told to work on their own interests for 20 percent of their time, or one day per week. These projects are encouraged to spark the creativity of Google's employees and to motivate them to come up with new products and ideas. To quote Krishna Baharat from Google (who developed Google News as one of his 20 percent projects), "The 20 percent time was invented for people to just explore. People are productive when they are working on things they see as important or they have invented, or are working on something they are passionate about. This is also an opportunity to get bottom-up innovation. There is only so much that top management can specify or ordain." (Vise, 2005, p. 132). Employees have some flexibility around their 20 percent time -- they can use it weekly, or pool it, to spend more concentrated time on their projects.[Barb has this extract and more research on the patterns in the corporate culture]

    What The Google Story does not tell you about this rule, as well the conceptual boundaries, in a holistic sense is given below, from another source:
    For those of you not familiar with the Google enterprise structure, they have established a ‘golden rule’ for managing innovation. No, it’s not the 80/20 rule; it’s the 70/20/10 rule. 70 percent of your time on the core business, 20 percent on related projects, and 10 percent on unrelated new businesses. Let’s say for someone working 50 hours a week, 5 hours would be focused on new projects. This is how Google has established itself as an innovator, a leader in the search engine world, and more recently a leader in new technical areas. Continue reading
    If you wish to read The Google story here is an extract: From the Book

    Here, I am not raising any issues relating to Web at work, or Personal Time vs. Company Time, etc.. You may as well Google for more on this dichotomy and work culture as it evolves

    The bottom line is free Lunch, sure, albeit for corporate benefit. And don't forget: the rule can be ten percent or twenty percent - but it works and organizations can benefit by this free will and freedom to be innovative and creative.

    March 05, 2006

    The Technique of Song and Sound Visualization

    We have many such ode visualizers. Don't believe?
    Listen and watch at Brian Smith, the Laughing Librarian's Blogga song. Copyright 2006 Brian Smith.
    ~~~~See also: Slashdot Song
    ~~~~Google for more song visualization in the blogsphere and sound visualization.
    Thank you lalcorn in Library Stuff for getting me to this world of Blogga song.

    Techies may like to get a feel from the following: Simulating Acoustic Fields. See also their case studies
    Disclaimer: This blogsphere aims to disseminate information with malice towards none.