Next-Generation Data Visualization Tools
Foley, James D.
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Scientific data visualization has finally come of age as an important and accepted discipline. While scientists have been using computer graphics to visualize experimental data and computational results for at least 30 years, recent improvements in cost/performance of graphics workstations, more readily available software, and the new-found name "scientific data visualization" have solidified the discipline. Many thousands of scientists regularly use visualizations as part of their work. Our thesis is that scientists are forced to work too hard to create these visualizations, but that the evolving set of visualization tools can greatly reduce the requisite effort. Further, these tools, and those of the next generation, will open significant new ways to understand increasingly complex and large datasets. Principal causes for this will be the increased interactivity that the tools will naturally offer and the need for designs based on careful consideration of scientific and engineering analysis requirements.