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Plaisant, C. (Aug. 1993)
Facilitating Data Exploration: Dynamic Queries on a Health Statistics Map
ASA (Alexandria, VA)1993 Proc. of the Annual Meeting of the American Statistical Association of the Government Statistics Section (San Francisco, CA, Aug. 1993) 18-23.

Users with no specialized computer training are often discouraged by the complex syntax of query languages and the output of long tables of alphanumerical values. The Human-Computer Interaction Laboratory has recently developed the concept of dynamic queries which allows user control of animated visual displays of information. Experiments with our first applications have shown that dynamic queries can help reveal trends or global properties as well as assist users in answering specific questions. We present a new application developed with the National Center for Health Statistics and running on a simple PC. A thematic map of the United States is animated by adjusting sliders displayed on the side of the map. A time slider illustrates time trends. The other sliders control the filtering out of areas of the map according to parameters such as demographics. Detailed data about a particular area is obtained by clicking directly on its location on the map. We have received encouraging feedback from use rs. We also hypothesize that this new tool will facilitate the finding of confounders.


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