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The digital magazine of InfoVis.net

Information Visualisation: Something's moving on the net.
by Juan C. Dürsteler [message nº 1]

Information Visualisation is becoming a topic of growing interest in Cyberspace. Why?

When we understand something we say that we see it, that it's clear. We  also say that a question is out of focus. This suggests that visual perception is very present in our mind, that we need to create a mental image in our brain about concepts and objects in order to understand them. 

Since the beginning, probably since the appearance of Homo sapiens with its ability to elaborate symbols, we humans have been visually representing concepts. 

Information Visualisation (InfoVis for short) deals with the ways that can be useful to favor information understanding, taking advantage of two of our main capabilities:

  • Our brain's ability to elaborate symbols.
  • The huge bandwidth of vision and its connection with our mental processes.

Visualisation allows us to perceive, almost instantaneously, features that couldn't be easily perceived just by looking at a huge amount of data.

This can be seen, for example, at newsmaps. Looking at its maps we can get in a glimpse a good idea in our mind about the most relevant worldwide news.

And, more important, it allows to detect patterns and to relate apparently unrelated data, to establish concepts, i.e. to think.

Possibly InfoVis has become more important because the arrival of powerful computers and specially of Internet has favored an Infoxication that, today more than ever, we need to cure.

To dive into the knowledge about Information Visualisation, on July, 1st 2000, we have launched www.infovis.net. This is a bilingual web site (in Spanish and in English) that we encourage you to visit.

Inf@Vis! is the digital magazine of InfoVis.net. Both the web and the magazine aim to discover together with you what has InfoVis to bring us.

Subscribe and participate!.

Links of this issue:

http://www.newsmaps.com   Newsmaps website
http://www.infovis.net/printRec.php?rec=glosario&lang=2#Infoxicacion   Infoxication (glossary term)
http://www.infovis.net   The new website about Information Visualisation
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