Informatik, TU Wien

Visual structures in InfoVis

Visualizing 1D, 2D, 3D, and nD Data


Mapping from data tables to visual abstraction is a crucial step in the visualization pipeline.
It often determines if a visualization will be successful or not.
Basic visual structures: points, lines, shapes, and color are combined into more complex visual representations. We explain standard representations for 1D, 2D, 3d, and nD data, such as, histogram, box-plot, pie-chart, scatter-plot, or parallel coordinates, for example.
Further, we provide guidelines how to use them and explain how not use certain visual structures.
Problems of using 2D or 3D structures to depict 1D data, or the problem of line-width illusion are also explained. The students should gain basic understanding of the importance of the visual-mapping step in the visualization pipeline, and they should be able to choose right visualization, and to recognize misleading visualization.


Kresimir Matkovic is a senior researcher at VRVis Research Center ( He received his PhD from Vienna University of Technology in 1998. He has an especially strong background in the visualization of simulation data (from the engineering level up to first class research). He is interested in extending visual analysis technology to challenging heterogeneous data, in particular to a combination of multi-variate data and more complex data types, such as functions, for example. Furthermore, he focuses his research on developing a structured model for interactive visual analysis which supports a synergetic combination of user interaction and computational analysis. Krešimir Matković is successful in bridging the gap between Information and Scientific Visualization, and focuses on Visual Analytics for Engineering Applications. He also applies Visual Analytics to different fields, such as medicine, geo-temporal data, or scientific computing. His research interests include virtual reality, human computer interaction, tangible user interfaces and human perception, as well. He leads projects which deal with visualization and with human computer interaction in VRVis. Since 2010 he teaches Information Visualization at Vienna University of Technology. Since 2007 Krešimir Matković is also an adjunct associate professor at Faculty of Electrical Engineering and Computing, University of Zagreb, where he teaches Virtual Environments. He is a member of IEEE Computer
Society, ACM, and Eurographics.