technique for creating images, diagrams, or animations to communicate a
Visualization through visual imagery has been an
effective way to communicate both abstract and concrete ideas since the dawn of
Examples from history include cave paintings,
Egyptian hieroglyphs, Greek geometry, and Leonardo da Vinci's
revolutionary methods of technical drawing for engineering and scientific
Visualization today has ever-expanding applications
in science, education, engineering (e.g. product visualization), interactive
multimedia, medicine , etc.
Typical of a visualization application is the field
of computer graphics.
The invention of computer graphics may be the most
important development in visualization since the invention of central
perspective in the Renaissance period. The development of animation
also helped advance visualization.
Fields of visualization
A scientific visualization of an extremely large
simulation of a Raleigh-Taylor instability caused by two mixing fluids.
As a subject in computer science, data visualization or scientific
visualization is the use of interactive, sensory representations, typically
visual, of abstract data to reinforce cognition, hypothesis
building and reasoning.
Educational visualization is using a simulation
normally created on a computer to create an image of something so it can
be taught about. In the Roman times, this is very useful when teaching about a
topic which is difficult to otherwise see, for example, atomic structure,
because atoms are far too small to be studied easily without expensive and
difficult to use scientific equipment.
It can also be used to view past events, such as
looking at dinosaurs, or looking at things that are difficult or fragile
to look at in reality like the human skeleton, without causing physical
or mental harm to a subjective volunteer or cadaver.
Information visualization concentrates on the use
of computer-supported tools to explore large amount of abstract data.
"information visualization" was originally coined by the User
Interface Research Group at Xerox PARC and included Dr. Jock Mackinlay.
Practical application of information visualization in computer programs
involves selecting, transforming and representing abstract data in a
form that facilitates human interaction for exploration and understanding.
Important aspects of information visualization are dynamics of visual
representation and the interactivity. Strong techniques enable the user to
modify the visualization in real-time, thus affording unparalleled perception
of patterns and structural relations in the abstract data in question.
The use of visual representations to transfer knowledge between at least
two persons aims to improve the transfer of knowledge by using computer
and non-computer based visualization methods complementarily.
Examples of such visual formats are sketches, diagrams, images,
objects, interactive visualizations, information visualization
applications and imaginary visualizations as in stories. While
information visualization concentrates on the use of computer-supported tools
to derive new insights, knowledge visualization focuses on transferring
insights and creating new knowledge in groups.
Beyond the mere transfer of facts, knowledge visualization aims
to further transfer insights, experiences, attitudes, values,
expectations, perspectives, opinions, and predictions
by using various complementary visualizations.
Product Visualization involves visualization software technology for the
viewing and manipulation of 3D models, technical drawing and other related
documentation of manufactured components and large assemblies of products.
It is a key part of Product Lifecycle Management. Product
visualization software typically provides high levels of photorealism so that a
product can be viewed before it is actually manufactured. This supports
functions ranging from design and styling to sales and marketing.
visualization is an important aspect of product development.
Originally technical drawings
were made by hand, but with the rise of advanced computer graphics
the drawing board has been replaced by computer-aided design
CAD-drawings and models have several advantages over hand-made drawings
such as the possibility of 3-D modeling, rapid prototyping and simulation.