Papers at IEEE VIS 2017
We visited Phoenix, Arizona, in October 2017 for IEEE VIS2017, the premier forum for advances in scientific and information visualization. We presented the following:
J. C. Roberts, P. D. Ritsos, J. Jackson, and C. Headleand, “The explanatory visualization framework: An active learning framework for teaching creative computing using explanatory visualizations,” IEEE Transactions on Visualization and Computer Graphics, vol. 24, no. 1, pp. 791–801, Jan. 2018.
Visualizations are nowadays appearing in popular media and are used everyday in the workplace. This democratisation of visualization challenges educators to develop effective learning strategies, in order to train the next generation of creative visualization specialists. There is high demand for skilled individuals who can analyse a problem, consider alternative designs, develop new visualizations, and be creative and innovative. Our three-stage framework, leads the learner through a series of tasks, each designed to develop different skills necessary for coming up with creative, innovative, effective, and purposeful visualizations. For that, we get the learners to create an explanatory visualization of an algorithm of their choice. By making an algorithm choice, and by following an active-learning and project-based strategy, the learners take ownership of a particular visualization challenge. They become enthusiastic to develop good results and learn different creative skills on their learning journey.
J. C. Roberts, C. Headleand, and P. D. Ritsos, “Half-day Tutorial on Sketching Visualization designs, and using the Five Design-Sheet (FdS) Methodology in Teaching,” in Tutorials of at the IEEE Conference on Visualization (IEEE VIS 2017), Phoenix, AZ, USA, 2017.
This tutorial leads attendees through sketching designs following the Five Design-Sheet methodology (FdS) and discusses how it can be used in teaching. The first part (before the break) will introduce the FdS, place it in context with other methods, discuss creative thinking and different problem types, explain the benefit of sketching designs, and provide a worked example of the FdS. The second part (after the break) focuses on using the FdS in teaching in Higher Education We give examples of students’ work, and discuss issues and challenges of using sketching for designing and prototyping in teaching, followed by a question and answer session.
P. D. Ritsos, J. Jackson, and J. C. Roberts, “Web-based Immersive Analytics in Handheld Augmented Reality,” in Posters presented at the IEEE Conference on Visualization (IEEE VIS 2017), Phoenix, Arizona, USA, 2017.
The recent popularity of virtual reality (VR), and the emergence of a number of affordable VR interfaces, have prompted researchers and developers to explore new, immersive ways to visualize data. This has resulted in a new research thrust, known as Immersive Analytics (IA). However, in IA little attention has been given to the paradigms of augmented/mixed reality (AR/MR), where computer-generated and physical objects co-exist. In this work, we explore the use of contemporary web-based technologies for the creation of immersive visualizations for handheld AR, combining D3.js with the open standards-based Argon AR framework and A-frame/WebVR. We argue in favor of using emerging standards-based web technologies as they work well with contemporary visualization tools, that are purposefully built for data binding and manipulation.
P. D. Ritsos, J. Mearman, J. R. Jackson, and J. C. Roberts, “Synthetic Visualizations in Web-based Mixed Reality,” in Immersive Analytics: Exploring Future Visualization and Interaction Technologies for Data Analytics Workshop, IEEE Conference on Visualization (VIS), Phoenix, Arizona, USA, 2017.
The way we interact with computers is constantly evolving, with technologies like Mixed/Augmented Reality (MR/AR) and the Internet of Things (IoT) set to change our perception of informational and physical space. In parallel, interest for interacting with data in new ways is driving the investigation of the synergy of these domains with data visualization. We are seeking new ways to contextualize, visualize, interact-with and interpret our data. In this paper we present the notion of Synthetic Visualizations, which enable us to visualize in situ, data embedded in physical objects, using MR. We use a combination of established ‘markers’, such as Quick Response Codes (QR Codes) and Augmented Reality Markers (AR Markers), not only to register objects in physical space, but also to contain data to be visualized, and interchange the type of visualization to be used. We visualize said data in Mixed Reality (MR), using emerging web-technologies and open-standards.
J. C. Roberts, P. D. Ritsos, and C. Headleand, “Experience and Guidance for the use of Sketching and low-fidelity Visualisation-design in teaching,” in Pedagogy of Data Visualization Workshop, IEEE Conference on Visualization (VIS), Phoenix, Arizona, USA, 2017.
We, like other educators, are keen to develop the next generation of visualisation designers. The use of sketching and low-fidelity designs are becoming popular methods to help developers and students consider many alternative ideas and plan what they should build. But especially within an education setting, there are often many issues that challenge students as they create low-fidelity prototypes. Students can be unwilling to contemplate alternatives, reluctant to use pens and paper, or sketch on paper, and inclined to code the first idea in their mind. In this paper we discuss these issues, and investigate strategies to help increase the breadth of low-fidelity designs, especially for developing data-visualisation tools. We draw together experiences and advice of how we have used the Five Design-Sheets method over eight years, for different assessment styles and across two institutions. This paper would be useful for anyone who wishes to use sketching in their teaching, or to improve their own experiences.
J. Pereda, P. Murietta-Flores, P. D. Ritsos, and J. C. Roberts, “Tangible User Interfaces as a Pathway for Information Visualisation for Low Digital Literacy in the Digital Humanities,” in 2nd Workshop on Visualization for the Digital Humanities, IEEE Conference on Visualization (VIS), Phoenix, Arizona, USA, 2017.
Information visualisation has become a key element for empowering users to answer and produce new questions, make sense and create narratives about specific sets of information. Current technologies, such as Linked Data, have changed how researchers and professionals in the Humanities and the Heritage sector engage with information. Digital literacy is of concern in many sectors, but is especially of concern for Digital Humanities. This is due to the fact that the Humanities and Heritage sector face an important division based on digital literacy that produce gaps in the way research can be carried out. One way to overcome the challenge of digital literacy and improve access to information can be Tangible User Interfaces (TUIs), which allow a more meaningful and natural pathway for a wide range of users. TUIs make use of physical objects to interact with the computer. In particular, they can facilitate the interaction process between the user and a data visualisation system. This position paper discusses the opportunity to engage with Digital Humanities information via TUIs and data visualisation tools, offering new ways to analyse, investigate and interpret the past.