Zhejiang University
College of Computer Science

Introduction to Information Visualization

Wei Chen

State Key Lab of CAD&CG, Zhejiang University


The amount and complexity of information produced in science, engineering, business, and everyday human activity is increasing at staggering rates. The goal of this course is to expose you to visual representation methods and techniques that increase the understanding of complex data. Good visualizations not only present a visual interpretation of data, but do so by improving comprehension, communication, and decision making.

In this course you will learn how the human visual system processes and perceives images, good design practices for visualization, tools for visualization of data from a variety of fields, collecting data from web sites with Python, and programming of interactive visualization applications using Processing.

Course introduction (*.pptx)

部分预先讲课录像视频 2010年10月录制 ttp://www.youku.com/playlist_show/id_4623030.html

Topic (Adjustable)
Paper readings

Supplementary Material


Visualization Handbook

Edward Tufte's work


  • Polaris: A System for Query, Analysis and Visualization of Multi-dimensional Relational Databases
  • IEEE Transactions on Visualization and Computer Graphics, Vol. 8, No. 1, January 2002. [PDF]
  • Chapter 1, Readings in Information Visualization: Using Vision to Think. Stuart Card,
  • Jock Mackinlay, and Ben Shneiderman, Morgan Kaufmann 1999.
    The Eyes Have It: A Task by Data Type Taxonomy for Information Visualizations Ben Shneiderman,
  • Proc. 1996 IEEE Visual Languages, also Maryland HCIL TR 96-13
    Low-Level Components of Analytic Activity in Information Visualization. Robert Amar, James Eagan,
  • and John Stasko. Proc. InfoVis 05
    Automating the Design of Graphical Presentations of Relational Information.
  • Jock Mackinlay, ACM Transaction on Graphics, vol. 5, no. 2, April 1986, pp. 110-141.



Lighting & Pattern



A review of overview+detail, zooming, and focus+context interfaces.

Andy Cockburn, Amy Karlson, and Benjamin B. Bederson.

ACM Computing Surveys 41(1), 2008


Statistics & Table

  • Multi-Scale Banking to 45 Degrees Jeffrey Heer, Maneesh Agrawala. Proc. InfoVis 2006,
  • IEEE Transactions on Visualization and Computer Graphics (TVCG), 12(5), Sep/Oct 2006,
  • pages 701-708. [PDF]


  • Unfolding the Earth: Myriahedral Projections. Jarke J. van Wijk. The Cartographic Journal,
  • Vol. 45, No. 1, pp.32-42, February 2008. [PDF]

Tree & Network

Graph Visualisation in Information Visualisation: a Survey Ivan Herman, Guy Melancon, M. Scott Marshall.

IEEE Transactions on Visualization and Computer Graphics, 6(1), pp. 24-44, 2000



PCA http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Principal_component_analysis

A tutorial on Principal Components Analysis, Lindsay I Smith [PDF

MDS Glimmer: Multilevel MDS on the GPU. Stephen Ingram, Tamara Munzner and Marc Olano.

IEEE TVCG, 15(2):249-261, Mar/Apr 2009. [Project Page]


Data Mining

MusicBox demo



Image and Video

Visualization Design

Tamara Munzner. Chapter 27, p 675-707, of Fundamentals of Graphics

Scientific Vis


Medical Vis

Process and Evaluation

Social Visualization


Visual Analytics

InfoVis Software