Funding for the Methods Network ended March 31st 2008. The website will be preserved in its current state.

Funding for the Methods Network ended March 31 2008. The website will be preserved in its current state.

From Abstract Data Mapping to 3D Photorealism: Understanding Emerging Intersections in Visualization Practices and Techniques

A workshop organized by Julie Tolmie, 3D VisA, Centre for Computing in the Humanities, King's College London and Professor Roy Kalawsky, Director of VizNET on 19 June 2007 at Birmingham Insitute of Art and Design.

(pdf) (html) Workshop programme
(html) Diagrams and annotated visual materials
(pdf) (html) Workshop report
(html) Workshop website

Researchers in arts and humanities, social sciences, scientific and engineering communities are generating, and accessing via grid and other networked technologies, ever increasing amounts of complex data. In turn, the analysis and presentation, or the enabling of real-time collaboration on such data and its constructed models, relies increasingly on visualization techniques and environments. Incremental advances in technology have tended to lead to the emergence of discipline specific methodologies or dedicated software. This has at times posed problems of their interoperability or fitness for use by other communities.

This is changing; models and methodologies now tend to span multiple visualisation techniques and environments. The development of these intersections bodes well for reuse of resources, training and collaboration in the wider UK visualisation community; however the meaning of the term 'visualization' varies widely between different disciplines according to the specific visualisation practices and techniques employed, and the research questions traditionally posed by that discipline. Interoperability and strategic approaches to tools development can be limited by research culture and focus. In addition, in both Science and Engineering and Arts and Humanities, visualization can vary from multidimensional abstract datasets (including text visualization and sensor data) to three-dimensional virtual reconstruction of natural and built environments. Providing introductions to, and overviews of, different areas of visualization to a cross-domain audience is therefore quite a challenging task.

The recent VizNET 2007 Workshop, a joint 3DVisA / VizNET event held 17-19 April in Leicestershire, successfully began this process. This follow-up expert workshop brought together the presenters from VizNET 2007 along with other experts in visualization in Science & Engineering and Arts & Humanities, firstly to re-present to one another examples of visualization in their respective fields, and secondly, to draft cross-domain orientation materials in visualization topics.

Format of the workshop

There were six panel sessions in the morning with diagrammatic presentations and smaller and more focused group sessions in the afternoon. During the groupwork, participants created drafts of diagrams or maps for a cross-domain orientation and introduction to visualization. These will be disseminated as posters and flyers at workshops and conferences and in future may be used as the basis for the development of online visualization orientation materials.

It is intended that the workshop report will synthesize the new knowledge and experience gained by bringing together the arts and humanities and science and engineering groups to define a visual working process based on visual outcomes.

About VizNET

VizNET (a UK National Visualisation Network) is a JISC funded collaboration between a number of visualisation centres in the UK has been established to share knowledge, communicate best practice between application domains, provide training and support to researchers in visualisation. VizNET is in the process of establishing a Visualisation Support Network spanning the UK Academic Research Community. VizNET will offer technical guidance to new users (entry level visualization) to advanced users (expert visualization users). Arts and Humanities research is represented in VizNET by 3DVisA.

AHDS Methods Taxonomy Terms

This item has been catalogued using a discipline and methods taxonomy. Learn more here.


  • General


  • Data Analysis - Visual analysis/visualisation
  • Practice-led Research - 3d modelling - vector
  • Practice-led Research - Image manipulation
  • Practice-led Research - 3d graphic design
  • Practice-led Research - 3d Scanning
  • Practice-led Research - Texture design and mapping
  • Practice-led Research - Photomontage
  • Data Structuring and enhancement - Graphical rendering
  • Data Structuring and enhancement - Coding/standardisation
  • Data publishing and dissemination - Graphical resource sharing
  • Data publishing and dissemination - Graphical collaborative publishing