|Final deliverable due December 11||CS 7450 - Information Visualization||Fall 2013|
This document describes the semester project for the course. Students should work on a project in teams of 2-4 people. (Arguments will be entertained for a single person project, but in general, this is discouraged.) Expectations will be adjusted according to group size.
The idea of the project is to take the knowledge and background that you are learning this semester about Information Visualization and put it to good use in a new, creative effort. A real key to the project, however, is to select a data set that people will find interesting and intriguing. Even better would be to select a data set with a clearly identified set of "users" or "analysts" who care deeply about that data. Select a topic that people want to know more about! I cannot emphasize strongly enough the importance of your topic and data set. Think about the suite of data visualizations that the NY Times has created over the past few years, a few examples of which are listed below:
No matter what topic you choose, I am expecting a high-quality project. In particular, I'm seeking creative projects showcasing interesting ideas. A good project should consist of visualization designs and a software artifact that implements the designs. Interaction is key in information visualization, and it is difficult to understand the interaction issues in your project without a running system. I am explicitly not expecting user testing and evaluation. Ideally, I would like your efforts to be innovative and to result in some form of potential publication.
You are free to choose any software development environment and graphics/visualization support library that you want in order to help build your system. Consider developing a system that is web-deployable so that your system can be shown to everyone in the world!
You will have five main milestones or deliverables. First, you must form your team and settle on a topic. Second, we will hold a poster session in class in which you can display your different design ideas to get feedback. Third, and shortly after the poster session, you will submit a detailed design document. Fourth, you will give a demonstration of your project to the instructor and TA during the last week of classes. Finally, you will produce a short video (6 minutes or less) that explains your system and shows it in action, and you will accompany the video by a short tutorial descriptive document.
The following questions will be important during that evaluation process.
Most of the really successful projects of the past from class have been in one of two styles. In the first style, the group created a visualization system that has only one view/representation but this representation is new and creative. Here, you should focus on designing an innovative new visual representation. The actual user interface may have different components or pieces, but it should be tightly integrated. The real focus here is on creativity and innovation. The second type of successful project employs multiple coordinated views where each view may use some well-known visualization techniques, perhaps customized a little for this problem. The emphasis in this type of project is to create a sound, functional system implementation that clearly can be of help for data analysis and understanding. It is important in this type of project to have coordinated views that work well together and provide different perspectives on the data. This type of project does not have the same level of visualization innovation as the first, but it comes together in a strong system implementation.
One way to create a poor project is to have each group member go off on their own and implement a different view, where the views have relatively little to do with each other. Systems like this usually have an interface where the user picks one of the views, and then that view takes over the window or screen. I don't consider this to be a very good example of an effective information visualization.