An Illuminated Path: The Impact of the Work of Jim Thomas

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Abstract

We provide a glimpse of the impact of the most influential work of Jim Thomas on the development of visual analytics. A quantitative visual analytic approach is applied to the analysis of three datasets of scholarly publications in order to highlight the nature and profoundness of the impact in terms of the structure and dynamics of the underlying intellectual landscape. We investigate and provide intriguing evidence of the impact of the groundbreaking book in visual analytics, Illuminating the Path, in terms of its role in shaping the scientific literature of relevant fields. Furthermore, we analyze the intellectual structure of visual analytics in a broader context in order to set the impact of the Illuminating the Path in perspective.