Readings in Information Visualization: Using Vision to Think (Interactive Technologies) Paperback – 2 Feb 1999
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About the Author
Stuart K. Card is a Xerox Research Fellow and manager of the User Interface Research Group at Xerox PARC. He is the author of numerous technical articles and two other books on theories and designs in human-machine interaction. He and his group have contributed to more than 10 Xerox commercial products.
Jock D. Mackinlayis a member of the User Interface Research Group at Xerox PARC, where he has been developing 3D user interfaces for information visualization for over a decade. He received a Ph.D. in computer science from Stanford University and is a member of the editorial board of ACM Transactions on Computer Human Interaction.
Ben Shneiderman is a professor in the Department of Computer Science, head of the Human-Computer Interaction Laboratory, and member of the Institutes for Advanced Computer Studies and Systems Research at the University of Maryland, College Park. He is the author and coauthor of many books, technical papers, and textbooks.
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Top Customer Reviews
The one redeeeming feature of this book is that it has a section on the visualisation of scientific data, which has been largely the meat and potatoes of data visualisation companies for over twenty years.
Trying to mimic 3D in 2D, even with VR, and then claiming that wow! this will turn database access inside out, is just a flight of fancy. But similar flights of fancy, ungrounded in empirical methodologies are all too common in this area. There is too much cognitive work to be addressed on spatial understanding yet (I avoid the phrase 'spatial reasoning')and regrettably this collection doesn't push the boat out sufficiently on this isssue.Read more ›
This is a crucially important, uniquely valuable book, edited and partly written by three of the original architects of today's graphical computing environment. If you design graphical interfaces, get it. Everything you need to know about is either here (the original papers by the key researchers) or referenced. I couldn't find a single gap.
The introduction alone is worth the (fairly hefty) price. In just 33 pages, the authors define the entire field, its history, components, laws and methods; and show how, by applying these methods, we can arrive at far more usable and interesting solutions than we'd arrive at in the usual fumbling, grasping-at-metaphors way.
"The purpose of visualization," it says, "is insight, not pictures". Having said which, many of the visualizations are just plain beautiful - intellectually as well as visually.
The illustrations are good but not lavish (for lavish, get Edward Tufte's books, which get due acknowledgement here. You need them anyway. And if they'd gone for lavish, the book would be completely unaffordable.) We have delightful things: spiral calendars, the "hyperbolic browser" (now making a real-world impact as the InXight browser), the "InfoCrystal", the "Table Lens", information maps and landscapes, representations of all kinds, suited to needs of all kinds, always generated by clear and careful thinking.
The meat of the book - the papers - is the definitive Grand Tour through the visual "possibility space". Many of them are "ideas in waiting" that the computer-mainstream still hasn't tumbled to. It shows what a wealth of options we have, once we free ourselves from the "received wisdom" of desktop metaphors, and proceed from basics.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
yes the written content is full of great information, and is highly acclaimed. However the vast majority of the images used in this book are nearly unreadable due to the extremely poor reproduction quality and low image resolution. This leads me to wonder whether the book was printed at kinkos or printed from the high school's 150 dpi printer!
i've seen photocopies that looked better than this! i'm not kidding!
come on.. black text on dark grey background?
were these conscious design decisions?
note... the 1 star is to bring down the average. i bought the book due to the perfect record of all 5 stars, however i don't believe a book on design topics should get away with such horrid imagery for the price..
2 of the 3 authors for this book are from xerox... i wouldn't doubt they used thier own xerox machine to reproduce the graphic designs found within the pages inside the cover.
680 pages! 47 articles! Filled with excellent choices of research and invention woven together with incisive summaries of the widely disparate, individual software accomplishments of the leaders of the field from around the world. This indispensable collection not only provides in-depth solutions to specific problems but also shows the explorer where the current frontiers are.
A rich, solid, impressive, and welcome contribution to a field that affects all of our lives now that the interactive graphic computer has made all of us users of visual language. Altogether indispensable for the researcher and innovator who will return to this remarkable collection again and again.
--Robert E. Horn, author, "Visual Language: Global Communication for the 21st Century" and visiting scholar, Program on People, Computers and Design, The Center for the Study of Language and Information, Stanford University.
Caveat: you gotta be the kind of person who likes reading this sort of thing. I love reading RFC's so its way up my alley. If you are looking for a Reader's Digest version of how to develop interfaces for complex systems you won't find it here.
But if you are one who seeks to augment your own personal toolbox with the findings of those far more wise than yourself, get out your wallet and buy this book. Its great.
We must learn to challenge our vulnerability toward icons. In order to take our place in the upcoming era, we must recognize how many burdens we have carried because we have reacted to iconography --a phenomena far deeper than mere affection toward slogans and images. A healthy human intelligence is adaptive not reactive. We must recognize the terrible demand upon us to develop a serious forethought.
The approach and language of this book stimulates our desire to develop appropriate tools and poo-poos the fashions of populism --a phenomena at its worst in current computing circles!
We're being drawn into using the computer for JUNK. This book asks us to grow up. Great idea!
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