Constructive Visualization


DIS Paper 2014
et al.: Samuel Huron, Sheelagh Carpendale, Anthony Tang, & Michael Maurer

If visualization is to be democratized, we need to provide means for non-experts to create visualizations that allow them to engage directly with datasets. We present constructive visualization a new paradigm for the simple creation of flexible, dynamic visualizations. Constructive visualization is simple–in that the skills required to build and manipulate the visualizations are akin to kindergarten play; it is expressive– in that one can build within the constraints of the chosen environment, and it also supports dynamics — in that these constructed visualizations can be rebuilt and adjusted. We de- scribe the conceptual components and processes underlying constructive visualization, and present real-world examples to illustrate the utility of this approach. The constructive visualization approach builds on our inherent understanding and experience with physical building blocks, offering a model that enables non-experts to create entirely novel visualizations, and to engage with datasets in a manner that would not have otherwise been possible.