Your Place or Mine? Visualization as a Community Component

  • Danis C
  • Viégas F
  • Wattenberg M
 et al. 
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Abstract

Many Eyes is a web site that provides collaborative visualization services, allowing users to upload data sets, visualize them, and comment on each other's visualizations. This paper describes a first interview-based study of Many Eyes users, which sheds light on user motivation for creating public visualizations. Users talked about data for many reasons, from scientific research to political advocacy to hobbies. One consistent theme across these different scenarios is the use of visualizations in communication and collaborative practices. Collaboration and conversation, however, often took place outside the site, leaving no traces on Many Eyes itself. In other words, despite spurring significant social activity, Many Eyes is not so much an online community as a "community component" which users insert into pre-existing online social systems.

Author-supplied keywords

  • communication
  • distributed community
  • social data analysis
  • visualization

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Authors

  • Catalina M. Danis

  • Fernanda B. Viégas

  • Martin Wattenberg

  • Jesse Kriss

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