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Posts: 1
Reply with quote  #1 
Hi.  I have used many of the principles learned here and from the Moderator to create dashboards and viz for monitoring some of the big data that my former company was producing. The dashboard I designed 3 years ago is still in use almost unchanged and I find that remarkable.

What I am trying to do now is to find articles, books or expertise on the best way to present dynamic information. In particular, we are tracking objects (ships) that move around the planet. The data tend to be delayed in time from one data point to another and therefore just showing them on a map is little help. We have found some advanced ways to timecast the locations to a common view and to obtain important metadata about the targets (anomalous behavior for example). Lots of people (ESRI especially) provide maps and layers and the OGC has some standards. A lot so people use pie charts too.

What I would like to discover is a truly user-focused way of presenting data that changes minute by minute and contains too much data to put on the screen all at once. From what I can glean, most displays just copy styles from other vendors (maybe put the filter list on the left instead of the right) or use tool kits that are easy to implement in html or flash. I have not seen any research on what really helps the user to detect important patterns, drill in when needed etc. For example, how do you show on the screen a predicted future track of a target when your software has decreasing accuracy of prediction. Hurricane tracks and error ellipses are the best known examples but I would love to do better than just copying what I like from others.

Any suggestions for references, companies or experts?

Posts: 820
Reply with quote  #2 

The only suggestion that comes to mind immediately is that you might find the book Visualizing Data Patterns with Micromaps by Carr and Pickle useful. This book focuses on the use of small multiples consisting of maps and other forms of visualization, in part to show change through time. Although the techniques that the authors present are built on well-known principles and practices of data visualization, I've never seen commercial software that makes it easy to build these displays. Take a look to see if this book looks promising.

Stephen Few
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