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We believe that the future of user interfaces is in the direction of larger, information-abundant displays.  With such designs, the worrisome flood of information can be turned into a productive river of knowledge.  Our experience during the past eight years has been that visual query formulation and visual display of results can be combined with the successful strategies of direct manipulation.  Human perceptual skills are are quite remarkable and largely underutilized in current information and computing systems.  Based on this insight, we developed dynamic queries, starfield displays, treemaps, treebrowsers, zoomable user interfaces, and a variety of widgets to present, search, browse, filter, and compare rich information spaces.

There are many visual alternatives but the basic principle for browsing and searching might be summarized as the Visual Information Seeking Mantra: Overview first, zoom and filter, then details-on-demand.  In several projects we rediscovered this principle and therefore wrote it down and highlighted it as a continuing reminder.   If we can design systems with effective visual displays, direct manipulation interfaces, and dynamic queries then users will be able to responsibly and confidently take on even more ambitious tasks.

Current Projects

CoCo: A Visual Analytics Tool for Comparing Cohorts of Event Sequences Screenshot

CoCo: A Visual Analytics Tool for Comparing Cohorts of Event Sequences
CoCo is a visual analytics tool that enables users to compare two sets of temporal sequence data. It combines automated statistical tests with user-guidance to enable insights, hypothesis generation, and much more. Users see (1) statistics about their dataset, (2) event-level statistics, and (3) a menu of metrics. CoCo displays significance tests in a unified form for measures such as prevalence and duration of gaps.

Community Analysis and Visualization Screenshot

Community Analysis and Visualization
Nation of Neighbors is Neighborhood Watch for the 21st century. It facilitates real-time collaboration within communities and between community members and Law Enforcement. Their mission is to enable Citizens and Law Enforcement to work together to fight and deter crime and improve our communities.

Evaluation of Visual Analytics Screenshot

Evaluation of Visual Analytics
The NSF funded SEMVAST project (Scientific Evaluation Methods for Visual Analytics Science and Technology) aims to provide benchmark data sets with ground truth, develop corresponding metrics and automated tools for evaluation, and to seed an infrastructure for the coordination of long term evaluation activities.

EventFlow Screenshot

The HCIL's ongoing work with temporal event records has produced powerful tools for analyzing patterns of point-based events (LifeLines2, LifeFlow). However, users found that point-based events limited their capacity to solve problems that had inherently interval attributes. To address this issue, EventFlow extends its predecessors to support both point-based and interval-based events. With EventFlow, we present novel solutions for displaying interval events, simplifying their visual impact, and incorporating them into meaningful queries.

Graph Visualization Screenshot

Graph Visualization
A list of projects related to Graph Visualization.

Keshif:  Simplicity Driven Visual Faceted Browser Screenshot

Keshif: Simplicity Driven Visual Faceted Browser
Keshif is a visual data browser that makes it easier to browse and understand your data. It presents visual summaries of your data properties, such as who, what, when and where, in its facets and timeline.

ManyLists Screenshot

ManyLists is a product comparison tool that compares products' features using Spatial Layouts with Animated Transitions. We applied the design concept from our recent comparison tools: Twinlist. It aims to meet the following three goals: 1. Support the comparison of at least four products,each with dozens of attributes. 2. Provide an overview to help users spot products provide more desirable features with less effort. 3. Allow the customization of positive and negative features. We proposed three guidelines for designing similar Spatial Layouts with Animated Transitions systems: break multi-step processes into small comprehensible steps, show animated transitions for each step, and use spatial layouts to indicate relationships among features.

Science 2.0: Studying Collaboration in Socio-Technical Systems Screenshot

Science 2.0: Studying Collaboration in Socio-Technical Systems
New kinds of science, which we will call Science 2.0, are needed to study the integrated interdisciplinary problems at the heart of social-technical systems. Science 2.0 will be especially important to meet the design challenges in secure voting, global environmental protection, energy sustainability, and international development among many others.

STICK: Science & Technology Innovation Concept Knowledge-base Screenshot

STICK: Science & Technology Innovation Concept Knowledge-base
This project overcomes the bias in the Science of Science and Innovation Policy (SciSIP) towards popular or ultimately successful innovations by providing the much needed data and tools for analyzing innovations of all possible outcomes. This comprehensive endeavor enables SciSIP researchers to build and test theories that explain the differentiated trajectories of science and technology innovations and their associated communities.

Temporal Visualizations Screenshot

Temporal Visualizations
A summary of HCIL projects in Temporal Visualization.

User Interface and Visualization for Electronic Health Records: SharpC at Maryland Screenshot

User Interface and Visualization for Electronic Health Records: SharpC at Maryland
The University of Maryland is participating in the National Center for Cognitive Informatics and Decision Making in Healthcare (NCCD). This program seeks to support improvements in the quality, safety and efficiency of health care through advanced information technology. NCCD's research focus area is Patient-Centered Cognitive Suport.

Past Projects

Biodiversity Information Visualization (TaxonTree, DoubleTree, EcoLens, LepTree) Screenshot

Biodiversity Information Visualization (TaxonTree, DoubleTree, EcoLens, LepTree)
Interfaces for online biodiversity and ecological databases, featuring incremental tree and graph browsing, in-context search results, coupled views, and readable labels.

Bioinformatics Visualization Screenshot

Bioinformatics Visualization
We developed information visualization tools for gene expression data analysis, including mosaics, hierarchical clustering, parallel coordinates, treemaps, and scattergrams.

BRQLayer Screenshot

BRQLayer is a photo viewer that generates Bi-level Radial Quantum (BRQ) layouts, which consist of a primary region surrounded by secondary regions. The thumbnails resize and the regions shift around dynamically as the layout is resized.

Business Network Monitoring Visualization Screenshot

Business Network Monitoring Visualization
Several small projects relevant to Network Management (satellite network, business network).

Categorized Search Results Screenshot

Categorized Search Results
Users can view and organize web search results using meaningful and stable hierarchies. This can help speed discovery, especially for exploratory searchs.

CateRank: Interactive Exploration of Multivariate Categorical Data Screenshot

CateRank: Interactive Exploration of Multivariate Categorical Data
CateRank aids in the categorical data exploration by providing useful visualizations and rankings for individual variables as well as the pairs of variables.

Conference Monitor Screenshot

Conference Monitor
Conference Monitor (CM) is a real time webbased tweet visualization dashboard to monitor the backchannel conversation during academic conferences.

CounterPoint: A Zooming Presentation Tool Screenshot

CounterPoint: A Zooming Presentation Tool
A plugin for PowerPoint that enables zoomable and hierarchical presentations.

CrossY: A Crossing Based Drawing Application Screenshot
DateLens: A Scalable Calendar Interface Screenshot

DateLens: A Scalable Calendar Interface
An interactive fisheye calendar for Pocket PC and Outlook on the desktop that couples compact overviews, user control over the visible time period, and integrated search.

Digital Docket Screenshot

Digital Docket
Our work aims to develop interfaces to help scholars in the humanities and social sciences explore large text collections. We focus on the use of a combination of content and meta data to visualize the collection and support exploration.

Dynamaps and Census Data User Interfaces Screenshot

Dynamaps and Census Data User Interfaces
Dynamap is an interface designed to facilitate easier viewing and dynamic query sliders for analysis of map-related census data.

Dynamic Query Interfaces for the EOSDIS Information System Screenshot

Dynamic Query Interfaces for the EOSDIS Information System
How to help earth scientists find the data they need.

Elastic Windows for Rapid Multiple Window Management Screenshot

Elastic Windows for Rapid Multiple Window Management
Windows are organized in a hierarchical fashion on a space-filling tiled layout to support multiple window operations which enable fast task-switching and display reorganization.

EmailViz: Email Archive Visualization Screenshot

EmailViz: Email Archive Visualization
A range of projects focused on visualizing archived email of individuals, and the organizational and social spaces to which they belong.

Emily Dickinson's Correspondences: A Born-Digital Textual Inquiry Screenshot

Emily Dickinson's Correspondences: A Born-Digital Textual Inquiry
This XML-based archive brings together seventy-four poems and letters from Emily Dickinsonís correspondence with her sister-in-law and primary confidante, Susan Dickinson. Each text is presented with a digitized scan of the holograph manuscript. These images have zoom functionality as well as a special light-box feature that allows users to view and compare constellations of related documents. Users may search by date, genre, manuscript features, and full text. Dating from the 1850s to the end of Dickinsonís life, the work collected here shows all the characteristics of the poetís mature art.

Excentric Labeling for Information Visualization Screenshot

Excentric Labeling for Information Visualization
Excentric labeling dynamically labels a set of objects located around the cursor.

FeatureLens Screenshot

Exploring and Visualizing Frequent Patterns in Text Collections with FeatureLens

Fisheye Menus for Selection from Long Menus Screenshot

Fisheye Menus for Selection from Long Menus
A dynamic interactive menu that enables rapid selection from within large menus without scrolling.

Generalized Query Previews Screenshot

Generalized Query Previews
Query previews form a simple and effective method to eliminate most of the zero-hit and mega-hit queries and help users prune data efficiently. Generalized query previews supply distribution information on data attributes and give continuous feedback about the result size.

Govstat Project Screenshot

Govstat Project
Integration of data and interfaces to enhance human understanding of government statistics.

Hierarchical Clustering Explorer Screenshot

Hierarchical Clustering Explorer
The Hierarchical Clustering Explorer began by supporting interactive exploration of clusters shown in dendrograms. It expanded to included the powerful rank-by-feature framework to support systematic discovery in high-dimensional multi-variate data.

Highway Traffic Management Screenshot

Highway Traffic Management
Summary of several projects conducted in cooperation with the Center for Advanced Transportation Technology.

Information Visualization Benchmarks Repository Screenshot

Information Visualization Benchmarks Repository
Including the InfoVis Contest of 2003 and 2004.

Interactive Information Visualization of a Million Items Screenshot

Interactive Information Visualization of a Million Items
New algorithms and interaction techniques to adapt popular information visualization representations for displaying one million of items.

Learning Historian Screenshot

Learning Historian
The Learning Historian record the history of user interaction with a simulation and allows this history to be replayed for review, sent with a message, used in a tutorial, or replayed as a series of variants to facilitate comparisons and explorations.

LifeFlow Screenshot

Event sequence analysis is an important task in many domains. In most cases they deal with more than thousands of records. While previous research has focused on searching and browsing, overview tasks are often overlooked. LifeFlow provides a novel, interactive visual overview of event sequences, scales to any number of records, summarizes all possible sequences, and highlights the temporal spacing of the events within sequences.

Lifelines for Juvenile Justice (Original) Screenshot

Lifelines for Juvenile Justice (Original)
LifeLines provide a general visualization environment for personal histories.

LifeLines for Visualizing Patient Records Screenshot

LifeLines for Visualizing Patient Records
LifeLines is a zoomable one screen overview of a patient record.

Lifelines2 Screenshot

Exploring temporal patterns in categorical data. We focus on Electronic Health Records and helping users find potential cause and effects phenomena in databases of patient records

ManyNets: Visualize Many Networks Simultaneously Screenshot

ManyNets: Visualize Many Networks Simultaneously
ManyNets is a network visualization tool with tabular interface designed to visualize up to several thousand network overviews at once. This allows networks to be compared, and large networks to be explored using a divide-and-conquer approach.

Nanomaps Screenshot
Network Visualization by Semantic Substrates Screenshot

Network Visualization by Semantic Substrates
Network analysts may benefit from meaningful and stable layouts for nodes in 1-5 defined regions. Then users control link visibility to reduce clutter and see patterns of relationships. Our major application has been citations among U.S. Supreme, Circuit and District Court cases.

Nora Project Screenshot

Nora Project
Data mining and visualization for the humanities.

PatternFinder Screenshot

Searching Categorical Histories with PatternFinder: Query Support for Electronic Health Records

PhotoCropr Screenshot

Application that can be used to explore croppings of images using either the "Rule of Thirds" or the "Golden Spiral" composition rules.

PhotoFinder Screenshot

Sustained effort to develop personal photo library browsing tools, including the patented drag-and-drop annotation tool with search capabilities.

PhotoMesa Zoomable Image Browser Screenshot

PhotoMesa Zoomable Image Browser
A tool to support management of images through annotation, search, and a zoomable user interface to access thousands of images.

Role Management Screenshot

Role Management
A proposed fourth generation user-centered design emphasizing usersí roles, colleagues, and tasks rather than documents.

RouteLens Screenshot

Helps users record the history of their common trips and review summary information to find patterns and compare alternative routes.

Similan: Finding Similar Records from Temporal Categorical Data Screenshot

Similan: Finding Similar Records from Temporal Categorical Data
Similan is a temporal categorical data analysis tool that helps users find similar records from temporal categorical data. By implementing similarity metric computation and adopting ideas from rank-by-feature framework to rank records by similarity, Similan provides an interactive interface to customize and visualize similarity search results.

Simulated Processes in a Learning Environment (SimPLE) Screenshot

Simulated Processes in a Learning Environment (SimPLE)
An application framework for creating simulation-based learning environments.

Snap-Together Visualization Screenshot

Snap-Together Visualization
Information visualizations with multiple coordinated views enable users to rapidly explore complex data and discover relationships. SNAP is a software tool for creating coordinated views.

Social Action Screenshot

Social Action
SocialAction is a social network visualization that provides analysts systematic and flexible techniques for exploration.

Sonification of Maps Screenshot

Sonification of Maps
Color coded maps (choropleth maps) are often used to present information such as unemployment rates for each state. An auditory version (sonification) of such maps benefit blind users by providing an interactive sonic map.

SpaceTree: Browsing Node Link Diagrams Screenshot

SpaceTree: Browsing Node Link Diagrams
An interactive tree browser that builds on the conventional node link diagram approach by adding carefully designed layouts, animations, and iconic subtree representations coupled with integrated search.

TimeSearcher for Time-Series Data Screenshot

TimeSearcher for Time-Series Data
TimeSearcher 1 and 2 provide powerful search capabilities for numerical (integer or real) time series with equally spaced time points. Appropriate for gene expresssion, financial, weather, and many other time-varying data series. Users specify queries with innovative graphical timeboxes and pattern matching widgets

Treemap Screenshot

Treemap 4 provides information visualization tools for hierarchical data using a novel space filling approach. There are now dozens of commercial and freeware versions of treempas, and our research tools remain available for educational purposes.

TreePlus: Visualizing Graphs as Trees Screenshot

TreePlus: Visualizing Graphs as Trees
TreePlus is an interactive graph visualization system that transforms graphs into trees and shows the missing graph structure with visualization and interaction techniques.

VAST Challenge
Advancing Visual Analytics Evaluations through Competitions

Visible Human Screenshot

Visible Human
Coordinated previews and overviews help find the right slice.

Visualizing Legal Information (Dotfire, GRIDL) Screenshot

Visualizing Legal Information (Dotfire, GRIDL)
Working on legal information gave us a chance to test emerging ideas of visual displays for digital libraries. These working demonstrations expanded on the Spotfire ideas of dynamic queries, and added a grid interface to organize data by categorical attributes.

WebTOC: A Tool to Visualize and Quantify Web Sites Screenshot

WebTOC: A Tool to Visualize and Quantify Web Sites
The table of contents of a website with indication of the amount and type of information behind each branch of the hierarchy.

Zoomable User Interfaces (Pad++) Screenshot

Zoomable User Interfaces (Pad++)
Our original toolkit for Zoomable User Interfaces. Replaced with Piccolo.

Zoomable User Interfaces (Piccolo) Screenshot

Zoomable User Interfaces (Piccolo)
A Java & C# toolkit that supports the development of 2D structured graphics programs in general, and Zoomable User Interfaces (ZUIs) in particular.

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