A Brief History of Data Visualization

Mira Dontcheva    Jeffrey Heer, Stanford Computer Science (HCI)
    jheerat signstanford.edu

Seminar on People, Computers, and Design
Stanford University March 6, 2009

In this talk, I will chart the course of visual depictions of data over the last 200 years, from the classic data graphics of Playfair and Minard to modern interactive visualization systems. Along the way, we will consider the factors that contribute to the effectiveness of information graphics and the role of computational tools in the visualization process. I will conclude with a review of current research directions in interactive visualization and suggest opportunities for future investigation.


Jeffrey Heer is an Assistant Professor of Computer Science at Stanford University, where his research focuses on human-computer interaction, interactive visualization, and social computing. His work has produced novel visualization techniques for exploring data, software tools that simplify visualization creation and customization, and collaborative analysis systems that leverage the insights of multiple analysts. He is the author of the prefuse and flare open-source visualization toolkits, currently in use by the visualization research community and numerous corporations. Over the years, he has also worked at Xerox PARC, IBM Research, Microsoft Research, and Tableau Software. He holds B.S., M.S., and Ph.D. degrees in Computer Science from the University of California, Berkeley.

View this talk on line at CS547 on Stanford OnLine or using this video link.

Titles and abstracts for previous years are available by year and by speaker.