International Meeting on

                                          Visualization in Complex Environments                                            
  Aim and Topics

                                          Visualizing Friendship by Paul Butler                                          
                                          Aims and Topics  Program  Venue Call for Ideas Contact                                          
                                                                   The dramatic progress in ICT and Internet-based applications has meant that individuals and organizations are exposed to an ever-increasing stream of data. In such an environment, the burden caused by information overload and processing is largely compensated for by the extraordinary potential which the availability of plentiful distributed data unleash for the management of complex environments.

Information visualization tools provide a creative way to address the issues. They offer a means to deal with a large amount of data and make sense of the emerging information. They also yield new capabilities to amplify cognition. By making it easier to exchange and share information they are artifacts for social affordance, as they enhance in novel ways the environment's properties permitting social action. This meeting is an opportunity to get insights into the possibilities offered by visualization and into the benefits likely to be accrued to the various societal organizations as they use these new tools. Contributions are gathered around three main headings which exemplify some of the roles information visualization can play in this respect:

a) Visualization to monitor and supervise spatially distributed systems, such as metropolitan and regional areas. Attention is paid to how visualization can integrate and make explicit the co-occurrence of different spatially relevant phenomena, such as those concerned with urban security, environmental risks, energy and transport management, thus supporting decision making in complex environments.

b) Visualization as a means to look into large data-base and yield an interpretation about data that can expose complex patterns or correlations. This is the realm of visual analytics a new scientific field which is being established at the crossroads between design and computing.

c) Visualization and communication. The focus will be on bringing together expert and lay knowledge and on the co-generation of information in locally based communities. The role of information visualization in providing contexts for general public information and thus adding value to it will be specifically addressed.