• Ross MaciejewskiEmail author
Living reference work entry


The current ubiquity of data collection is providing unprecedented opportunities for knowledge discovery and extraction. Data sources can be large, complex, heterogeneous, structured, and unstructured. In order to explore such data and exploit opportunities within the data deluge, tools and techniques are being developed to help data users generate hypotheses, explore data trends and ultimately develop insights and formulate narratives with their data. These tools often rely on visual representations of the data coupled with interactive computer interfaces to aid the exploration and analysis process. Such representations fall under the purview of visualization, in which scientists have worked on systematically exploiting the human visual system as a key part of data analysis. Research in this area has been inspired by a number of historical sources, examples include physicist James Maxwell’s sculpture of a thermodynamic surface in 1874, Leonardo da Vinci’s hand-drawn illustration of water from his studies to determine the processes underlying water flow, or the flow map of Napoleon’s March on Moscow produced by Charles Minard in 1869. Each of these examples attempts to explain data in a visual manner, and, as visualization has progressed, principles and practices have been adopted to standardize representations, and, more importantly, better exploit properties of the human visual system.


Visual representation Human visual system Exploratory data analysis Color scheme Spatiotemporal data 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Arizona State UniversityTempeUSA

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