Reporting From VisWeek 2012: Best Practices in BioVis

Drew Skau
Written 2 years ago
in Design

Visualization is rapidly becoming a tool used in a wide range of disciplines. Biology and Bioinformatics have recently seen an explosion of visualization applications, but many have been designed by researchers without any expertise in visualization. This results in many visualizations that aren’t as efficient as possible, or even misleading to the people using them. Misrepresenting this data is a dangerous thing because it can direct research resources down dead-end paths.

The best solution to this is an education effort for researchers. Increasing their visual literacy is important, but teaching best practice is also critical. Biology and Bioinformatics are not the only fields with this issue. The same approach can help any fields taking advantage of the recent explosion in visualization technologies.

Martin Krzywinski has recognized this need and created a fantastic poster for VisWeek 2012. The poster addresses issues specific to the BioVis domain. The poster essentially becomes a cheat sheet for Biology and Bioinformatics researchers developing visualizations.

Great educational and reference work like this is important to moving scientific domains forward.

 
Drew Skau, Visualization Architect at Visual.ly, is at VisWeek 2012 all week. Check back here for more of his reports, follow him on Twitter @SeeingStructure.