Reactions to geovisualization: An experience from a European project
- Publisher: Taylor & Francis
The paper is written jointly by two parties, computer scientists specializing in geovisualization and experts in forestry, who cooperated within a joint project. The authors tell a story about an attempt of the geovisualizers to introduce the foresters to the concept and principles of exploratory data analysis and to the use of visualization for systematic and comprehensive data exploration. This endeavor should be considered as an informal experiment rather than a rigorous scientific study. Unlike customary tests of the usability of specific tools and techniques, the geovisualizers did not give the forestry specialists a series of tasks to carry out by applying geovisualization tools and did not try to measure how well the foresters performed. The idea of the geovisualizers was to demonstrate the principles and power of exploratory data analysis to the foresters by example. For this purpose, the geovisualizers performed an exploration of a non‐trivial data set by themselves and reported the procedure, the principles, the techniques, and the findings to the foresters. The reaction of the foresters uncovered a range of fundamental issues that are relevant to geovisualization and information visualization research. The authors analyze these issues from their perspectives and formulate a set of questions which researchers in geovisualization should be asking.