VisLink: Revealing Relationships Amongst Visualizations


Christopher Collins, Gerald Penn, Sheelagh Carpendale


We have developed VisLink, a method by which visualizations and the relationships between them can be interactively explored. Our approach uses multiple 2D layouts, drawing each one in its own plane. These planes can then be placed and re-positioned in 3D space: side by side, in parallel, or in chosen placements that provide favoured views. Relationships, connections, and patterns between visualizations can be revealed and explored using a variety of interaction techniques including spreading activation and search filters.

We have also devised a formalism for understanding and comparing methods of mutli-relationship visualization, and analyze how the most popular methods (compound graphs, coordinated multiple views, Semantic Substrates) compare to VisLink. VisLink readily generalizes to support multiple visualizations, empowers inter-representational queries, and enables the reuse of the spatial variables, thus supporting efficient information encoding and providing for powerful visualization bridging.

Ongoing research is investigating the application of VisLink to real analysis scenarios in various data domains. We are also extending the capability for powerful inter-visualization queries.


  • C. Collins and S. Carpendale, “VisLink: Revealing Relationships Amongst Visualizations,” IEEE Trans. on Visualization and Computer Graphics (Proc. of the IEEE Conf. on Information Visualization (InfoVis)), vol. 13, iss. 6, 2007.
    [Bibtex] [PDF] [DOI]
      author =  {Christopher Collins and Sheelagh Carpendale},
      title =      {VisLink: Revealing Relationships Amongst Visualizations},
      journal =  {IEEE Trans. on Visualization and Computer Graphics (Proc. of the IEEE Conf. on Information Visualization (InfoVis))},
      year = 2007,
      volume = 13,
      number = 6,
      month =   {Nov./Dec.},
      publisher =   {IEEE},
      doi = {10.1109/TVCG.2007.70521}

PDF of PowerPoint presentation from InfoVis 2007






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