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Re: could you share your visualization links?

From: Al Gilman <asgilman@iamdigex.net>
Date: Thu, 10 Jul 2003 12:58:36 -0400
Message-Id: <5.1.0.14.2.20030710105526.02824940@pop.iamdigex.net>
To: Marja-Riitta Koivunen <marja@w3.org>
Cc: public-wai-rd@w3.org

At 06:30 PM 2003-07-09, you wrote:
>Hi Al!
>
>It was nice talking to you at Budabest. I remember that you had some good 
>ideas for visualization and also links to research material.
>
>We are preparing for a topic on visualization (from one angle) and I wrote 
>a first draft explaining it:
>
>http://www.w3.org/WAI/RD/2003/06/visualization/visplan.html
>
>Would you be so nice and send me or rdig list (public-wai-rd@w3.org) some 
>information about the links that you think would be suitable for this kind 
>of an event?
>
>Also if you have other ideas could you send them to the rdig list?

[Caveat:  I have not gone through the resources you cited.  You may have a
lot of this already.  But here is a dump of some things I have been aware of
that you may or may not have.  -Al]

You raised two aspects: reducing dependency on visualization to afford 
effective
non-visual (or limited visual) access, and increasing the application of
visualization methods to address cognitive and language barriers.

This reply looks primarily at the first aspect: deconstructing the 
visualization
to afford more universal access.  But the skill developed in this pursuit will
have lots of spillover into understanding how to make more and better use of
visualization in more web content.


Key points are:

1) Perform a "universal design" transform on the topic statement.

FROM:
"access to visualizations" --
document focus, assumes sequential derivation from data to visualization to
accessible visualization

TO:
"access to information that benefits from visualization techniques" --
service focus, allows parallel derivation of the accessible dialog/view,
which may or may not be integrated with the visualization.

'Visualizations' are just a view of some information that happens to work
well for visual interaction.  A deeper model of the information being served
will facilitate the synthesis of an effective interaction for other delivery
contexts, whether this is implemented as an enriched visualization or an
alternate modality of dialog entirely.

I have over and over written that we need to stop worrying about accessible
maps and win by ensuring that accessible "location-related information
services" are available for the same information as visualized on maps.  For
this workshop we need to re-orient the problem statement in the appropriate
generalization of this remark.

2) Recognize that the presentation only has to sustain orientation to the
conceptual space in which the information is distributed, not present the
full dimensionality at all times.

At least for scientific visualizations, the information to be accessed is a
continuous distribution across some geometrical space.  Verisimilitude in
the interaction view is helpful in orienting the user to this conceptual
space, but need not be complete.  The relationship of the interaction
spatialization to the conceptual space in which the information is
distributed is that of a tangent space to a smooth manifold.  The
presentation only has to present changes in the orientation of the view well
enough for the user to track an orientation in more dimensions than what the
presentation covers.  The success of the "Audio Doom" game with blind
children illustrates this well.  It is an extreme case.  A more 'central'
case is the Timesearcher application from Ben Schneiderman and Co. (see
more below).

3) Meet the visual interface designer half way at the "scene graph" or "Last
graph before pixels" interface.  The W3C DOM of a Z39-86 digital talking
book is an accessible information model, but it throws away too much of the
application-domain geometry to be a reference model of choice here.

Looking for a W3C DOM throws away the application-domain geometry that we
need to communicate to the user.  Think as a key target for an open
interface in the architecture of computers and their cross-application
software.  The DOM is document-oriented; we need to have more attention paid
to the scene graph that drives the screen or other multimedia or VR display.

4) Work the GIS application: it's low hanging fruit and a model that can
be proliferated into other data browsing situations where there is significant
geometry in the notional domain over which the information is spread.

Why is this low-hanging fruit?  Because the geometry here is of low 
dimensionality
and is commodity knowledge among users.  They already have the concepts; all
we have to do is connect with what is already in the user's brain.  And there
is an immense amount of verbally articulable information, here.

5) Study the time-series browser from Ben Schneiderman's Lab.  This is a
good, working example of the kind of thinking that we need to teach people.

  Timesearcher
  http://www.cs.umd.edu/hcil/timesearcher

The key fact about this application is that while the visual user feels that
they are directly manipulating the display, looking at the processing flow
they are actually tuning the input port on the view-extraction transform.
So they maintain continuous orientation to the terms of the view effortlessly.

Al

PS: Further References:

General background:

  view agility depends on thorough modeling:
  UD/DA considerations for The Grid
  http://trace.wisc.edu/docs/ud4grid/

Presentation/Interaction view as tangent to data space:

  "Audio Doom" study
  http://216.239.37.104/search?q=cache:rGgQ0yfVi5YJ:www.dcc.uchile.cl/~jsanchez/Pages/papers/virtualenviorment.pdf+3D+audio+doom+&hl=en&ie=UTF-8

A rich GIS website with lots of user control over the information view.
Useful as a case to discuss in terms of adaptive views for different user
situations.

  SanGIS, San Diego City and County Maps
  http://www.sangis.org/

Scene graph rather than document model as the central model class for
studying universal design transformation of visualization applications:

  http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/w3c-wai-ua/2002AprJun/0102.html

Goodies:

It's possible to improve on the localization of audio presentation by
employing more of the frequency spectrum:

  ineluctable sound from Leeds
  http://news.bbc.co.uk/hi/english/sci/tech/newsid_1454000/1454737.stm

There are strong, open-source tools such as VisPACK supported by high-value 
applications:

  BISTI Program of Excellence for Computational Bioimaging and
  Visualization
  http://www.sci.utah.edu/bisti/static/

>Thank you!
>
>Marja
>
Received on Thursday, 10 July 2003 13:42:58 GMT

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