The visual query is a basic component of all analytic seeing and understanding visual queries is an essential part of the design of information visualizations. Simply put, a visual query is a process whereby a problem is addressed through a pattern search. It is an analytic visual act of seeing. For example, the visual queries for finding routes on a road map involve discovering connected lines connecting two map locations. A visual query on a weather map might be as simple as discovering the temperature by matching a color to a temperature key, or as complex as understanding the pattern of winds at a weather front. This talk will give an overview of the way visual queries fit within the visual thinking process as well as a look at the how designs can be optimized with visual queries in mind.
Colin Ware has a special interest in applying theories of perception to the design of data visualizations. He has advanced degrees in both computer science (MMath, Waterloo) and in the psychology of perception (PhD,Toronto). He has published over 170 articles ranging from rigorously scientific contributions to the Journal of Physiology, Behavior and Vision Research to applications oriented articles in the fields of data visualization and human-computer interaction. His book Information Visualization: Perception for Design is now in its third edition. His book, Visual Thinking for Design, appeared in 2008. Ware also likes to build practical visualization systems. Fledermaus, a commercial 3D geospatial visualization system widely used in oceanography, was developed from his initial prototypes. His trackPlot software is being used by marine mammal scientists and his flowVis2D software is serving images on NOAA websites. Colin Ware is Director of the Data Visualization Research Lab which is part of the Center for Coastal and Ocean Mapping at the University of New Hampshire.