From CS 294-10 Visualization Sp10

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Good Example

Source: IEEE Specturm, September 2009 From an article which describes how various cosmetic surgery techniques beat the current state of the art in face recognition. The figure is very effective in communicating what the various techniques do, both where they apply and what their effect is. The text also provides valuable information and the illustration is very interesting.

Bad Example

Source: IEEE Potentials, October 2009
From an article describing how cascading failures can occur in power grids. The picture is trying to illustrate how a failure in a single transmission link can lead to a total blackout. There are several problems with this illustration. First the links seem overcrowded and contain too much information which is difficult to see. The direction of the arrow, color and the thickness all convey different information but its almost impossible to see them. The animation is hard to follow as the changing elements are not visually distinct and I found myself constantly shuttling between the text and the image. Also in (f) there is a black rectangle and a text in red that says "the powerflow did not converge" and its not clear what they mean!

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