Encyclopedia of Database Systems

2018 Edition
| Editors: Ling Liu, M. Tamer Özsu

Data Visualization

  • Hans HinterbergerEmail author
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4614-8265-9_1370


Graphic representation of data; Information visualization


Data visualization: (i) interpreting information in visual terms by forming a mental picture based on data and (ii) applying suitable methods to put data into visible form.

This definition is consistent with the Oxford English Dictionary definitions of “data”: facts, esp. numerical facts, collected together for reference or information and of “visualization”: (i) the action or fact of visualizing, the power or process of forming a mental picture or vision of something not actually present to the sight, a picture thus formed, and (ii) the action or process of rendering visible.

The first part of the definition refers to the human cognitive activity of forming a mental picture, independent of how something is represented. If this is the only activity of interest, then the term “information visualization” is more commonly used. Similarly, “data visualization” is often reduced to the second part of the definition.

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Recommended Reading

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Computer ScienceETH ZurichZurichSwitzerland

Section editors and affiliations

  • Hans Hinterberger
    • 1
  1. 1.Inst. of Scientific ComputingETH ZurichZurichSwitzerland