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Panel: Towards a Research Agenda for Visual Informatics (SIGs VIS, CR)

Corinne Jörgensen, Kenneth Fleischmann, Karl Fast, Alison von Eberstein, Peter Jörgensen

Sparking Synergies: Bringing Research and Practice Together @ ASIST '05 (ASIS&T 2005)
Westin Charlotte, Charlotte, North Carolina, October 28 - November 2, 2005


Abstract

“Visual Informatics” currently refers to visualization of and interaction with very large data sets, including both text and numeric data, chemical and molecular structures, and genome sequences. As such, it follows the widespread definition of “informatics” as being “the study of the application of computer and statistical techniques to the management of information,” or, more popularly, “computer science + X.” Commercially available visual informatics software, (such as Logical Images’ VisualDx) provides real-time visual decision support for such things as diagnosis of disease. This panel suggests reorienting the concept of informatics towards the human processes that are facilitated by technology. Along these lines, it proposes a broader definition and refocusing of the concept of visual informatics and explores the expansion of the range of research which visual informatics can address. It also looks beyond visual informatics to the larger concept of “media informatics” where information and communication technologies expand to include multiple modalities of interaction within systems, organizations, and cultures. In keeping with the conference theme of synergies between research and practice, this panel will explore a research agenda grounded through the optics of both current “real world” applications being developed in research and industry and theoretical approaches which can enfold these projects within rich conceptual frameworks. The panel format will consist of a brief introduction to the topic by the moderator, followed by several presentations exploring these issues, followed by a summation and discussion. A unique aspect of this panel is that the dialogue among the presenters and their audience will begin well before the conference, through the mechanism of the ASIS&T SIGVIS weblog (http://informationvisualization.typepad.com). We encourage participants to review the weblog and add their comments to the entries.

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