A Study on Glyph-based Visualisation with Dense Visual Context (English)

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In a focus+context visualization, one often finds it difficult to overlay focus information on top of a dense visual context. This work is motivated by a need for visualizing search results (i.e., focus) in relation to a treemap representation of a large file system (i.e., context). We thus consider that the focus consists of a collection of visual objects discretely-distributed over a background featuring dense context information. The conventional approach for showing such objects in focus is to use colored dots, which can encode limited information and may be difficult to discern from the context background. In this paper, we report a study on three alternative approaches, namely (a) cyclically-animated dot, (b) static glyph and (c) cyclically-animated glyph. We conducted a focus group study for qualitative evaluation and found that cyclically-animated dots and static glyphs are the preferred alternatives. While fine tuning cyclic animation is feasible, cyclically-animated glyphs do not offer an attractive solution in general.

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A Study on Glyph-based Visualisation with Dense Visual Context
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