many eyes: democratizing visualization

wednesday, october 3rd, 01:00-02:00pm, fernanda viégas and martin wattenberg will present ‘many eyes: democratizing visualization’. abstract and bios below. the event will take place at 114 avery hall, columbia university (downstairs by the cafe).

Data visualization has historically been accessible only to the
elite in academia, business, and government. But in recent years
web-based visualizations–ranging from political art projects to
news stories–have reached audiences of millions. Unfortunately,
while lay users can view many sophisticated visualizations, they
have few ways to create them. In order to “democratize”
visualization, we have built Many Eyes, a web site where people may
upload their own data, create interactive visualizations, and carry
on conversations. The goal is to foster a social style of data
analysis in which visualizations serve not only as a discovery tool
for individuals but also as a means to spur discussion and
collaboration. We will provide an overview of Many Eyes, patterns
of usage on the site, and what those patterns suggest about the
future of visualization.


Fernanda Viégas and Martin Wattenberg are research scientists in
IBM’s Visual Communication Lab. Viégas is known for her pioneering
work on depicting chat histories and email. Wattenberg’s
visualizations of the stock market and baby names are considered
internet classics. The two became a team in 2003 when they decided
to visualize Wikipedia, leading to the “history flow” project that
revealed the self-healing nature of the online encyclopedia. They
are currently exploring the power of web-based visualization and
the social forms of data analysis it

hosted by the spatial information design lab and the center on organizational innovation.

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