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An increasingly important use of computer graphics is to monitor such real-world processes as manufacturing plants, power plants, and refineries. As in many uses of computer graphics, the development of this application area has been programmer-intensive. As a consequence, system are being developed more slowly than is desired and they cost more than necessary. This article discusses some of the key issues and requirements involved in designing productivity tools for use in constructing monitoring systems. We have developed a prototype Process Visualization System (PVS) that allows nonprogrammers to construct graphics displays, and to establish relationships between these displays and changes in the data describing the process being monitored. With this system, customized, dynamically updated scenes can be created. The PVS allows users to construct symbols, to place them on the screen, and to connect them to data items from the monitored processes' database. Using this system frees the end-user from reliance on programmers, and allows the user to quickly display the data items of interest.