Data visualization is a dull term for a sharp tool. Better to call it idea mapping --- the process of turning concepts and problems into graphical displays. Maps take the usual one-dimensional course of a conversation and lift it into a higher space, and thereby tap simple but profound sources of power:
- compression --- making a vast expanse of information accessible to the eye (and mind) at a single moment;
- correlation --- revealing new relationships among disparate items by juxtaposing them in space;
- preservation --- time-binding, recording ideas and patterns in a persistent medium, so they can be reviewed and enhanced at later dates;
- transformation --- showing concepts from new perspectives, converting one type of problem into another, and thereby unveiling new truths; and
- communication --- sharing the results of conversation and discovery with others.
Deep magic --- like creativity, and progress --- comes from the combination of these elements.
Tuesday, October 19, 1999 at 05:43:41 (EDT) = Datetag19991019
(correlates: FocusAndFanout, SuspensionOfDisbelief, SolublesInsolubles, ...)