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

Report by Julie Tolmie


The meaning of the term ‘visualisation’ 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 Challenge of Terminology: Development of a Working Index

Terminology is a significant barrier in any cross-domain, or multidisciplinary, interdisciplinary or transdisciplinary1 activity, and this event was no exception. During the preparation of this report, it became necessary to develop a working index of terms. This working index is composed of terms used in presenters’ papers or from their slides and transcripts, in the cases where there was no paper submitted. The index of more than 5000 terms enables partial identification of shared or differing terminology among presenters. It has been prepared to facilitate backwards analysis of the event and to identify potential overlaps between presenters’ conclusions and other presenters’ domains.

Format and Methodology

For the workshop, From Abstract Data Mapping to 3D Photorealism: Understanding Emerging Intersections in Visualization Practices and Techniques, visualization experts in both the Sciences and Engineering and the Arts and Humanities were asked to prepare one large slide containing diagrams and visual materials appropriate to an orientation in their area of visualization. In the morning, they were given five to seven minutes to present, somewhat akin to an exercise in speed diagramming. Cross-domain groups met in the afternoon. While it is impossible by definition to cover all the possibilities in different visualization areas in a short space of time, annotated diagrammed examples can provide an excellent starting point for crossdomain activity. By juxtaposing diagrams authored from the viewpoints of different domains, identification of where the same term is used differently or where different terms are traditionally employed in different domains for the same object or process can be accelerated. This visual format is also designed to challenge researchers to extend their own research questions both into the language of other domains, and to envisage ways of appropriating the practices and techniques of other domains within their own research culture and focus, thus establishing a genuine cross-domain dialogue. With transcripts of their presentations provided, experts authored short papers based on the structure and flow of their slide, on its delivery and on the discussion arising in the cross-domain groups.

Read the report...

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