Extreme visualization: squeezing a billion records into a million pixels

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Short description

To perform database searches usually query languages like SQL and form fill in templates are used, with results shown in tabular lists.

However, more and more attention is drawn to dynamic queries sliders and other graphical selectors for query specification, with results displayed by information visualization techniques. These filtering techniques have proven to be effective for many tasks in which visual presentations enable discovery of relationships, clusters, outliers, gaps, and other patterns.

The scaling of visual presentations from millions to billions of records will require collaborative research efforts in information visualization and database management to enable rapid aggregation, meaningful coordinated windows, and effective summary graphics.

Current and proposed solutions that facilitate sense-making for interactive visual exploration of billion record data sets are

  • atomic,
  • aggregated,
  • and density plots.

Suitable Datatypes

Information visualizations are designed to deal with multi-dimensional and more importantly multi-variate data.

In addation to

  • integer,
  • categorical,
  • real,
  • and nominal

information visualizations often deal with even richer data types.

The four types

  • multi-variate,
  • time series,
  • tree,
  • and network

are tied to tasks such as finding clusters, gaps, outliers, trends, and relationships.


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Important citations

The purpose of visualization is insight, not pictures.
[Ben Shneiderman, 2008]



Extreme visualization: squeezing a billion records into a million pixels

Internal References