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Key Concepts

  • Themes in the science of visualization
  • Simulation models
  • Visualization tools – graphs created using Excel and MATLAB
  • Distributed visualization
  • Metadata and Paradata for scientific visualization


"We don’t see with our eyes. We see with our brains", Paul Bach-y-Rita.

In the last thirty years computer-based visualization has moved from an informal ad hoc tool designed to create particular results, to becoming a proper science in its own right. Universal generalisations and specifications as well as best practice guidelines are now available. Visualization methods are now being studied as an individual topic within various courses and modules; at all levels from undergraduate to postgraduate. Visualization is now the basis of numerous PhD titles and further research projects and programmes, funded across all the research councils and the infrastructure HE/FE funding agencies. This research and development has created a large toolkit for general use as well as individual methodologies for specialist user data sets, and has helped in understanding the barriers between the computer display and the human visual system. Visualization, it should be emphasised, is as much about gaining investigative insight as it is about enhancing presentations to tell a clearly specified story.

The science of visualization has been split into three themes; information visualization that studies methods for the representation of large-scale collections of often non-numerical information as well as the recommendations for use of graphical techniques to aid in the analysis of data. Scientific visualization, the second theme, was developed from previous often natural and experimental methods of displaying data, which has seen an explosion of users due to the deluge of in-silico experimental data (e.g. supercomputing and high throughput computing results) as well as real experimental capture equipment (e.g. 3D medical scanners, climate sensor data and astrophysical telescopes). Results often mimic reality, for example creating virtual wind-tunnel visualizations, but can be abstract, for example visualizing 6-dimensional tensor components using different geometric shapes (as in Figure 1). Visual analytics is the third theme. This merges both of these fields to focus on the user’s analytical reasoning, which often involves interactive visual interfaces and commonly employs various data-mining techniques as well as combining data across different databases.

This chapter introduces examples within these visualization themes, first providing an overview of simulation models and then specific examples from the creation of graphs using popular tools such as Excel and MATLAB. It then moves on to present the complexities of distributed visualization, as well as the role of adding metadata and paradata.

Visualization examples: information visualization example showing the content of the ½ million files on my hard disc ( Sequoiaview ); and two scientific visualizations, the first showing climate modelling using various animated glyphs to show flow strength ( Avizo ); and the second a selection of interactive superquadric glyphs selecting various forms from the six dimensions available within tensor stress components ( AVS/Express ).

Questions & Answers

Is there any normative that regulates the use of silver nanoparticles?
Damian Reply
what king of growth are you checking .?
What fields keep nano created devices from performing or assimulating ? Magnetic fields ? Are do they assimilate ?
Stoney Reply
why we need to study biomolecules, molecular biology in nanotechnology?
Adin Reply
yes I'm doing my masters in nanotechnology, we are being studying all these domains as well..
what school?
biomolecules are e building blocks of every organics and inorganic materials.
anyone know any internet site where one can find nanotechnology papers?
Damian Reply
sciencedirect big data base
Introduction about quantum dots in nanotechnology
Praveena Reply
what does nano mean?
Anassong Reply
nano basically means 10^(-9). nanometer is a unit to measure length.
do you think it's worthwhile in the long term to study the effects and possibilities of nanotechnology on viral treatment?
Damian Reply
absolutely yes
how to know photocatalytic properties of tio2 nanoparticles...what to do now
Akash Reply
it is a goid question and i want to know the answer as well
characteristics of micro business
for teaching engĺish at school how nano technology help us
Do somebody tell me a best nano engineering book for beginners?
s. Reply
there is no specific books for beginners but there is book called principle of nanotechnology
what is fullerene does it is used to make bukky balls
Devang Reply
are you nano engineer ?
fullerene is a bucky ball aka Carbon 60 molecule. It was name by the architect Fuller. He design the geodesic dome. it resembles a soccer ball.
what is the actual application of fullerenes nowadays?
That is a great question Damian. best way to answer that question is to Google it. there are hundreds of applications for buck minister fullerenes, from medical to aerospace. you can also find plenty of research papers that will give you great detail on the potential applications of fullerenes.
what is the Synthesis, properties,and applications of carbon nano chemistry
Abhijith Reply
Mostly, they use nano carbon for electronics and for materials to be strengthened.
is Bucky paper clear?
carbon nanotubes has various application in fuel cells membrane, current research on cancer drug,and in electronics MEMS and NEMS etc
so some one know about replacing silicon atom with phosphorous in semiconductors device?
s. Reply
Yeah, it is a pain to say the least. You basically have to heat the substarte up to around 1000 degrees celcius then pass phosphene gas over top of it, which is explosive and toxic by the way, under very low pressure.
Do you know which machine is used to that process?
how to fabricate graphene ink ?
for screen printed electrodes ?
What is lattice structure?
s. Reply
of graphene you mean?
or in general
in general
Graphene has a hexagonal structure
On having this app for quite a bit time, Haven't realised there's a chat room in it.
what is biological synthesis of nanoparticles
Sanket Reply
While the American heart association suggests that meditation might be used in conjunction with more traditional treatments as a way to manage hypertension
Beverly Reply
Researchers demonstrated that the hippocampus functions in memory processing by creating lesions in the hippocampi of rats, which resulted in ________.
Mapo Reply
The formulation of new memories is sometimes called ________, and the process of bringing up old memories is called ________.
Mapo Reply
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Source:  OpenStax, Research in a connected world. OpenStax CNX. Nov 22, 2009 Download for free at http://cnx.org/content/col10677/1.12
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