From CS 294-10 Visualization Sp10

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Good example:


Source: Computer Simulation of Liquids, by M.P. Allen and D.J. Tildesley. Oxford University Press, 1989, p. 80.

This is a schematic visualization of three related algorithms for numeric integration of Newton's equations of motion. Each small multiple illustrates how to use some pieces of stored data (e.g., r = position) that describe a specific point in time (e.g., t) to compute another piece of data at another point in time. It's most useful when accompanied by information on nearby pages of the book, such as the actual equations of the algorithms. But once you're familiar with the equations, its simplicity and lack of clutter make it useful as a memory aid or as a guide for adapting related equations into codable algorithms. The illustration of half-step updates could be more intuitive.

Bad example:


Source: A Pattern Language, by Christopher Alexander, Sara Ishikawa, and Murray Silverstein. Oxford University Press, 1977, p. 296. Apologies for my bad digital photo!

A Pattern Language is a classic tome in architecture and urban planning. It describes "patterns" to be used in the design of almost any element of the built environment, from the network of highways in a county to the placement of windows in a room. This visualization is the diagram for Pattern 57, Children in the City, which advocates for a child-safe bike path through the heart of adult activity in a city. But without the text I included above the visualization (and the text in the rest of the section) you'd never guess that! The visualization, and most others in the book, is simply a scribble surrounded a few key phrases; it is meant to be suggestive of how to put the pattern into practice but ends up adding almost nothing to the typically clear and evocative text.

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