Jin Chen, Alan MacEachren and Diansheng Guo Earn First Place at InfoVis 2005 Contest

Jin Chen recently led his team to earn first place in the InfoVis 2005 Contest for their submission titled, Space-Time-Attribute Analysis and Visualization of US Company Data. Other team members include Diansheng Guo, former GeoVISTA Ph.D. student and postdoc who is now faculty at the University of South Carolina Geography Department, and GeoVISTA Center Director Alan MacEachren.

The InfoVis Contest is held annually to promote the development of advances in information visualization and to establish a forum to advance evaluation methods. Contestants must develop interesting and insightful ways of visualizing and analyzing a complex data set, which is provided by the contest organizers. This year, the contest data set contained geographically-referenced statistics on employment, sales, and company relocations within certain U.S. industries over a twelve year period.

The GeoVISTA team's winning submission aimed to develop geo-visual analytic strategies that analysts can use to detect and explore multivariate, spatio-temporal patterns. The successful strategy was to integrate information visualization and cartographic methods with computational methods for sorting and finding clusters in large data sets. The paper introduces a new form of geographic small multiple display along with a novel integration of computational and visual methods for finding patterns in spatio-temporal data.

"This is a great accomplishment for the Center," says Chen. "And, although I am the lead person, credit should also go to my partners Diansheng Guo and Alan MacEachren. I also want to acknowledge Frank Hardisty and Biliang Zhou for the tools they created which we integrated in the contest."

The first place submission excelled in all of the following areas: quality of the data analysis, appropriateness of the visual representation for the data and the tasks, usefulness and creativity of the interactivity, flexibility of the tool, quality of the written case study, and novelty.

The team will receive a prize and present their work during the contest session at the IEEE Symposium on Information Visualization in Minneapolis, MN, October 23-25, 2005. Additionally, a short paper and five minute video demonstration of the winning entry will be included on the official Symposium proceedings and DVD.

This research was supported by a grant from ARDA GI2Vis and by grant CA95949 from the National Cancer Institute.

For more information, contact Krista Kahler at kck12@psu.edu

Visit http://www.geovista.psu.edu/resources/ to learn more.