CIRCA:Arya, Agustin A. "The Hidden Side of Visualization."

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(Created page with 'Arya. ''The Hidden Side of Visualization''. Techné: Research in Philosophy and Technology. Winter 2003')
(First posting was lost when connection died...everything except the title... great. Re-wrote and re-posted.)
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Arya. ''The Hidden Side of Visualization''. Techné: Research in Philosophy and Technology. Winter 2003
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Arya, Agustin A. ''The Hidden Side of Visualization''. Techné: Research in Philosophy and Technology. Winter 2003
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What is a Visualization? How do we know we're looking at one? What happens when we do? what goes into making one?
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In his article, Arya goes to great length to describe not only what a visualization is, but a number of factors that go into and come out of a visualization. The real meat of the article seems to center around proving to the reader that a visualization is really on the as good as the sum of its parts. The user of a any visualization is provided with an opportunity to be shown information in a new and different way and, with any luck and if done correctly, the visualization, Arya argues, has the potential to literally change the way the user ''thinks''.
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An interesting section of the article comes to light, as Arya is developing the idea of the user, or even the creator, of a visualization experiencing what he describes as a ''Galilean Moment.''This ''moment,'' in layman's terms, is the moment that a person can make sense of the environment in such a way that geometric shapes can be used a models or ''visual aids'' for explanation and understanding. This is where a visualization becomes powerful. Expanding further on this topic, Arya suggests that a more advanced ''Cartesian Moment'' can also occur, where the user not only realizes the potential of geometric shapes as representations of the environment, but also be measured, and therefore provide even further opportunity for understanding of the information it represents.
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Arya also makes not of the moment in which a visualization becomes ''useful'' to the user, like a tool, relating it to Heideggerian philosophy. Heideggerian philosophy talks about a tool being "present at hand" vs being "ready at hand." A tool is considered present-at-hand when it is not obvious what it can be used for, by the user. A tool being ready-at-hand, conversely, is a tool that is not only obvious to the user what it is used for, but actually becomes an extension ''of'' the user. The tool exists as a thing, and the thing ''things.'' This is the ideal, Arya argues, of any visualization: to be ready-at-hand for the user, in such a way that the user is not held back by the visualization, but it cognitively extended by it, so that their thinking can be enhanced, or even changed by the information it represents.
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The article requires a certain amount of concentration to read, as it is packed with information about visualizations. Given the opportunity, however, the article also has the potential to change the way the reader views visualizations in general.

Revision as of 02:05, 10 December 2010

Arya, Agustin A. The Hidden Side of Visualization. Techné: Research in Philosophy and Technology. Winter 2003

What is a Visualization? How do we know we're looking at one? What happens when we do? what goes into making one?

In his article, Arya goes to great length to describe not only what a visualization is, but a number of factors that go into and come out of a visualization. The real meat of the article seems to center around proving to the reader that a visualization is really on the as good as the sum of its parts. The user of a any visualization is provided with an opportunity to be shown information in a new and different way and, with any luck and if done correctly, the visualization, Arya argues, has the potential to literally change the way the user thinks.

An interesting section of the article comes to light, as Arya is developing the idea of the user, or even the creator, of a visualization experiencing what he describes as a Galilean Moment.This moment, in layman's terms, is the moment that a person can make sense of the environment in such a way that geometric shapes can be used a models or visual aids for explanation and understanding. This is where a visualization becomes powerful. Expanding further on this topic, Arya suggests that a more advanced Cartesian Moment can also occur, where the user not only realizes the potential of geometric shapes as representations of the environment, but also be measured, and therefore provide even further opportunity for understanding of the information it represents.

Arya also makes not of the moment in which a visualization becomes useful to the user, like a tool, relating it to Heideggerian philosophy. Heideggerian philosophy talks about a tool being "present at hand" vs being "ready at hand." A tool is considered present-at-hand when it is not obvious what it can be used for, by the user. A tool being ready-at-hand, conversely, is a tool that is not only obvious to the user what it is used for, but actually becomes an extension of the user. The tool exists as a thing, and the thing things. This is the ideal, Arya argues, of any visualization: to be ready-at-hand for the user, in such a way that the user is not held back by the visualization, but it cognitively extended by it, so that their thinking can be enhanced, or even changed by the information it represents.

The article requires a certain amount of concentration to read, as it is packed with information about visualizations. Given the opportunity, however, the article also has the potential to change the way the reader views visualizations in general.

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