From CS 294-10 Visualization Sp10

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Good Visualization

Good Visualization  (Source: IEEE Spectrum, October 2007 pg. 27)

This visualization shows the solar panels on the roofs of the buildings on the Google campus. It is a good visualization for several reasons:

  • Although needing to show only rooftops, using depth and dimension makes the visual easier to understand.
  • The contrasting color used to show the solar panels make them pop and instantly recognizable.
  • The overall design is simple, but the buildings and panels are drawn with detail, which makes the the visual thorough but not cluttered.

Bad Visualization

Bad Visualization  (Source: IEEE Potentials, January/February 2008 pg. 15)

This visualization shows the path of receive descriptors in gigabit Ethernet. It is a bad visualization because:

  • There is no key or legend to indicate what the different colors represent, if anything.
  • The descriptions for "(i)", "(ii)", and "(iii)" should be in the caption, not hidden in the article's text because when looking at this image alone, there's no way to know what they describe.
  • There are too many pictures and arrows, so the image looks cluttered and the eye doesn't know where to focus.
  • The use of both real pictures as well as computer-drawn images makes the overall visual seem less coherent.

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