The current ubiquity of data collection is providing unprecedented opportunities for knowledge discovery and extraction. Data sources can be large, complex, heterogeneous, structured, and unstructured. In order to explore such data and exploit opportunities within the data deluge, tools and techniques are being developed to help data users generate hypotheses, explore data trends, and ultimately develop insights and formulate narratives with their data. These tools often rely on visual representations of the data coupled with interactive computer interfaces to aid the exploration and analysis process. Such representations fall under the purview of visualization, in which scientists have worked on systematically exploiting the human visual system as a key part of data analysis. Research in this area has been inspired by a number of historical sources, examples include physicist James Maxwell’s sculpture of a thermodynamic surface in 1874, Leonardo da Vinci’s hand-drawn illustration of water from his studies to determine the processes underlying water flow, or the flow map of Napoleon’s March on Moscow produced by Charles Minard in 1869. Each of these examples attempts to explain data in a visual manner, and, as visualization has progressed, principles and practices have been adopted to standardize representations, and, more importantly, better exploit properties of the human visual system.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationHandbook of Regional Science
Subtitle of host publicationSecond and Extended Edition: With 238 Figures and 78 Tables
PublisherSpringer Berlin Heidelberg
Number of pages20
ISBN (Electronic)9783662607237
ISBN (Print)9783662607220
StatePublished - Jan 1 2021


  • Color scheme
  • Exploratory data analysis
  • Human visual system
  • Spatiotemporal data
  • Visual representation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Economics, Econometrics and Finance(all)
  • General Business, Management and Accounting
  • General Earth and Planetary Sciences
  • General Social Sciences


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