Information Visualization (InfoVis) is an exciting field to watch grow and expand into ever new areas. Last year brought some interesting developments that point towards changes in how we do and see visualization. What does 2010 hold in store? Here is a look back and some ideas where we’re heading.
2009: What Was
Until May 2009, the biggest issue in visualization was access to good data. There were a few standard data sets, and when working with companies we would sometimes get some of their data (which we were not able to share, of course); but comparing visualizations without interesting test data was difficult.Data.gov(and similar websites in other countries) changed all of that. Suddenly, there is more data than we really know what to do with, and more is coming. There are some issues with inflated numbers of data sets (e.g., toxic release data has separate data sets for each state and year), but it’s still a fantastic service and points into the right direction. The recent release ofclimate data (even if for the wrong reasons) also provided us with some interesting material to dig into. In my opinion, the availability of large amounts of new data was the biggest thing to happen for InfoVis in 2009.