Need Suggestions for 2-D Display of 3-D Quantitive Data

21 May 2008 - 12:16pm
5 years ago
8 replies
873 reads
Brooke Baldwin
2008

Hi folks, I need a little help here.

I'm trying to design a grid display (table of numerical data) that really
has a dataset more appropriate for a three-dimensional display. But I'm
constrained to two axis. This is a web application were the user's
preference is to see whole numbers indicating quantity.

I've been pouring over Tufte and not found anything that really meets my
needs yet. Help!

thanks
brooke

Comments

21 May 2008 - 1:39pm
Brooke Baldwin
2008

Todd wrote:

Brooke, could you give an example of what you're trying to show? And what
data users would be trying to compare?

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
I've got lines of data that share many attributes (column headings) and
that each have unique attributes (other column headings). Think of it as a
regular grid, but I've got to put on another layer of parameters (distance
chunks) where the type of distance chunk (column headings) for one line
will vary between two subsets of column headings.

The subsets of column headings for the grid are sort of related. And so
I'm trying to place them one on top (meaning, stacking the unique column
headings) of the other in the header but that layout implies a strict
relationship between the two that's false. There are indicators along the
vertical access that let the user know what column header is the right
reference.

I'm just not sure this is really the best way to do things.

The design is constrained by a small amount of screen space (and we'll
still have horizontal scrolling) AND that we can't aren't introducing
graphical treatments.

Clear as mud?
Thanks
brooke

21 May 2008 - 2:43pm
.pauric
2006

Without knowing more on the dataset in question its hard to say what kind of
visualisation will suit. I recommend a look at Many Eyes for inspiration
http://services.alphaworks.ibm.com/manyeyes/home

Maybe a treemap?

Some place to explore
http://www.visual-literacy.org/periodic_table/periodic_table.html#
http://www.visualcomplexity.com/vc/

Shameless Plug: IxDA Boston will have Matt McKeon, a researcher at IBM's
Visual Communications Lab, speak about Many Eyes at our night of short talks
on the 26th of June - save the date. RSVP and formal announcement to
follow. Interested in speaking?
http://spreadsheets.google.com/viewform?key=pQG39RalBf4Majf8iT2aEaQ

-pauric

21 May 2008 - 4:46pm
Todd Moy
2007

Absolutely clear as mud. :D If I had an picture or spreadsheet of the data,
that might help. Feel free to email me offline; I'd be glad to take a stab
at it.

-T

On Wed, May 21, 2008 at 3:43 PM, pauric <pauric at pauric.net> wrote:

> Without knowing more on the dataset in question its hard to say what kind
> of
> visualisation will suit. I recommend a look at Many Eyes for inspiration
> http://services.alphaworks.ibm.com/manyeyes/home
>
> Maybe a treemap?
>
> Some place to explore
> http://www.visual-literacy.org/periodic_table/periodic_table.html#
> http://www.visualcomplexity.com/vc/
>
> Shameless Plug: IxDA Boston will have Matt McKeon, a researcher at IBM's
> Visual Communications Lab, speak about Many Eyes at our night of short
> talks
> on the 26th of June - save the date. RSVP and formal announcement to
> follow. Interested in speaking?
> http://spreadsheets.google.com/viewform?key=pQG39RalBf4Majf8iT2aEaQ
>
> -pauric
> ________________________________________________________________
> Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
> To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
> Unsubscribe ................ http://www.ixda.org/unsubscribe
> List Guidelines ............ http://www.ixda.org/guidelines
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21 May 2008 - 5:00pm
Anonymous

> I'm trying to design a grid display (table of numerical data) that really
> has a dataset more appropriate for a three-dimensional display. But I'm
> constrained to two axis.

Depending on your values you could have a sort of times-table table
(if you will) where two of the values make the row / column headers
and the third axis (value) is the intersection of the first two.

Something like this is what I *think* you mean from your explanation:
http://snipurl.com/29zyo

Independent variables would be quite simple (ex. 1) but I think ex. 2
maps more to your partially linked sub-headings.

Here you could have a table that updated with selection or mouse
position. This way your 'sort of related' sub-headings can show the
relation (light grey), or otherwise (dark grey) and you can update the
sub headings as appropriate (row-heading colour matches column
heading).

You'd need some pretty CSS for that, though ;)
HTH.
Alex.

21 May 2008 - 12:55pm
Todd Moy
2007

> I'm trying to design a grid display (table of numerical data) that really
> has a dataset more appropriate for a three-dimensional display. But I'm
> constrained to two axis. This is a web application were the user's
> preference is to see whole numbers indicating quantity.

Brooke, could you give an example of what you're trying to show? And what
data users would be trying to compare?

As an aside, you might also look at IBM's ManyEyes for inspiration:
http://services.alphaworks.ibm.com/manyeyes/page/Visualization_Options.html

-Todd

21 May 2008 - 1:22pm
Shep McKee
2005

Brook,

Not necessarily elegant - but maybe it will give you an idea on how to
move forward.

Use a summary-details pattern...
http://www.time-tripper.com/uipatterns/Overview_Plus_Detail

Place one variable in the left column - and then the corresponding
datagrid with the other two on the right. Then provide a method for
'rotating' your view of the data; ie: allow you to navigate in the
left column via any one of your 3 variables; showing the other 2 in a
datagrid on the right.

-shep

On May 21, 2008, at 1:16 PM, Brooke Baldwin wrote:
> I'm trying to design a grid display (table of numerical data) that
> really
> has a dataset more appropriate for a three-dimensional display. But
> I'm
> constrained to two axis. This is a web application were the user's
> preference is to see whole numbers indicating quantity.

21 May 2008 - 5:46pm
Steve Baty
2009

Brooke,

If possible, use colour to indicate the distance attribute, although you
should keep in mind potential issues for colour-blind audience members. Size
(of the dot on a scatter-plot) is another way to indicate the third
dimension. Alternatively, plot you data inside a triangle where each side
represents a dimension of the data (similar to how RGB colour spaces are
represented).

Regards
Steve

2008/5/22 Brooke Baldwin <brooke at brookebaldwin.com>:

> Hi folks, I need a little help here.
>
>
> I'm trying to design a grid display (table of numerical data) that really
> has a dataset more appropriate for a three-dimensional display. But I'm
> constrained to two axis. This is a web application were the user's
> preference is to see whole numbers indicating quantity.
>
> I've been pouring over Tufte and not found anything that really meets my
> needs yet. Help!
>
> thanks
> brooke
>
>
>
> ________________________________________________________________
> Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
> To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
> Unsubscribe ................ http://www.ixda.org/unsubscribe
> List Guidelines ............ http://www.ixda.org/guidelines
> List Help .................. http://www.ixda.org/help
>

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Principal Consultant
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E: stevebaty at meld.com.au

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21 May 2008 - 9:58pm
Itamar Medeiros
2006

You should check out this website called "Information Design
Patterns" (http://niceone.org/infodesign/): is a sophisticated
online collection of about 48 design patterns that describe distinct
methods for the display of interactive information graphics, their
active behavior as well as the forms of user interaction with
them..."

Hope it helps,

{ Itamar Medeiros } Information Designer
http://designative.info/
http://www.autodesk.com/

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