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Perception and painting: a search for effective, engaging visualizations

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2 Author(s)
C. G. Healey ; Dept. of Comput. Sci., North Carolina State Univ., Raleigh, NC ; J. T. Enns

Scientific visualization represents information as images that let us explore, discover, analyze and validate large collections of data. Much research in this area is dedicated to designing effective visualizations that support specific analysis needs. Recently, though, we've considered visualizations from another angle. We've started asking, "Are visualizations beautiful? Can we consider visualizations works of art?" You might expect answers to these questions to vary widely depending on an individual's interpretation what it means to be artistic. We believe that the issues of effectiveness and aesthetics may not be as independent as they seem initially. We can learn much from studying two related disciplines - human psychophysics and art theory and history. Human psychophysics teaches us how we see the world around us. Art history shows us how artistic masters capture our attention by designing works that evoke an emotional response. The common interest in visual attention provides an important bridge between these domains. We're using this bridge to produce effective and engaging visualizations, and in this article, we share some of the lessons we've learned along the way

Published in:

IEEE Computer Graphics and Applications  (Volume:22 ,  Issue: 2 )