TitleTurning pictures into numbers: Extracting and generating information from complex visualizations
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2000
AuthorsTrafton, JG, Kirschenbaum, SS, Tsui, TL, Miyamoto, RT, Ballas, JA, Raymond, PD
JournalInternational Journal of Human Computer Studies

We present a study of complex visualization usage by expert meteorological forecasters. We performed a protocol analysis and examined the types of visualizations they examined. We present evidence for how experts are able to make use of complex visualizations. Our findings suggest that users of complex visualizations create qualitative mental models from which they can then generate quantitative information. In order to build their qualitative mental models, forecasters integrated information across multiple visualizations and extracted primarily qualitative information from visualizations in a goal-directed manner. We discuss both theoretical and practical implications of this study.

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