Saturday, August 30, 2008

Visualization as a Core Capability

I came back from a recent DARPA workshop ever more convinced that visualization as a core capability is both necessary and attainable. "Visualization as a core capability" means that the full spectrum of visualization techniques is available from any application. It doesn't involve so-called "pluggable" components; no automatic code generation to force big-bang integration between heterogeneous apps, tools, and APIs. Anywhere I come across some columns of data I ought to be able to generate a chart. If I can recognize that columns of data are latitudes and longitudes then the computer should also make that recognition and generate a map. The chart and the map should be independent of any application and at the same time embeddable into any application. I am increasingly of the opinion that we need visualization built into the operating system as a platform service.