Foundations of Data Visualization



The goal of visualization is to provide users with (human) insight into (digital) data, and more than just an action of drawing some pictures based on the data. As most visualization images are not interpreted by visualization experts, but by other users, such as domain experts, “users play a central role in visualization.” Practically no one in the visualization community would seriously question this fact. Many researchers in the community stress the relevance of users, including Lorenson who warns of the possibility of the death of visualization without applications, and the members of a more recent IEEE VIS panel. Only users can finally confirm the relevance of visualization because “the overall aim is to achieve the grand vision of enabling data understanding in science, engineering, and society.” While visualization has an ambitious goal for serving broader audiences (see Part IV of the book), successful collaboration with domain experts is essential to prevent the possibility warned by Lorenson. In this chapter, we collect experiences and ideas that should help make such collaborations with domain experts a success. It is necessary to note that we take a broad definition of collaboration as the basis of our discussions, i.e., any close cooperation between visualization experts and domain experts. A finer discrimination of different kinds of cooperation can be found in the article by Kirby and Meyer. We present our considerations in three aspects: domain, domain expert, and collaboration methodology. Finally, we discuss how to impact as the main measure of success can be made.


Mario Hlawitschka, Gerik Scheuermann, Christian Blecha, Marc Streit, Amitabh Varshney
Foundations of Data Visualization , Collaborating Successfully with Domain Experts
Springer, 285--293, doi:10.1007/978-3-030-34444-3_15, 2020.


    title = {Foundations of Data Visualization},
    author = {Mario Hlawitschka and Gerik Scheuermann and Christian Blecha and Marc Streit and Amitabh Varshney},
    editor = {Min Chen and Helwig Hauser and Penny Rheingans and Gerik Scheuermann},
    journal = {Springer},
    doi = {10.1007/978-3-030-34444-3_15},
    pages = {285--293},
    publisher = {Springer International Publishing},
    booktitle = {Foundations of Data Visualization},
    chapter = {Collaborating Successfully with Domain Experts},
    year = {2020}