Exploring a New Visualization Infrastructure

Wednesday, January 19, 2005; 9am to 5pm
Silicon Graphics Campus, Mountain View, CA

We are poised at a unique juncture in the evolution of advanced visualization technologies - one that will take advantage of the rise of geospatial literacy, location-based technologies, social network technologies, GeoVis, InfoVis and collaborative visualization.

Workshop Organizers

  • Bonnie DeVarco, MediaTertia - Emerging Technologies in Education [bio]
  • Katy Börner, Indiana University, School of Library and Information Science, InfoVis Lab [bio]


Dynamic visualization provides a unique bridge between disciplines and offers a way to synthesize information from myriad sources. Geographic Information Systems (GIS) has evolved into a highly sophisticated toolset for "situated knowledge." Location-based services utilizing technologies such as GPS and RFID tagging support the rise of spatially integrated information and are resulting in new visualization tools that provide a spatio-temporal context for multidisciplinary inquiry. New initiatives such as the Center for Spatially Integrated Social Science (CSISS), the Electronic Cultural Atlas Initiative (ECAI), the GeoVISTA Center, the Information Visualization Cyberinfrastructure (IVC), the CyberInfrastructure for the Geosciences (GEON) and the Alexandria Digital Library (ADL) extended Gazetteer protocol are converging to support the expansion of a new field of integrated visualization technologies. Geovisualization takes advantage of human map reading skills and encourages the assimilation of spatio-temporal information in a geographic context by showing patterns on multiple scales. Information visualization leverages similar cognitive skills towards analysis of ever-growing data repositories.


The primary goal of this one-day workshop on the Silicon Graphics Campus is to bring together leaders in advanced visualization technologies, scientific visualization, information visualization, semantic mapping, GIS, computing and creativity to discuss the potential of a new, scalable visual language that bridges the disciplines. In addition we will explore unique applications of visualization tools to approach larger problems such as mapping human knowledge in a geographic context and solving the puzzle of life. Demonstrations of best of breed visualization will be combined with the exploration of issues surrounding infrastructure, technology and data standards. In a state-of-the-art visualization environment, representatives from Silicon Graphics will demonstrate the Visual Area Network (VAN) , Scalable Graphics and their new Linux-based visualization system . This interdisciplinary group will then review multi-institutional alliances and cyberinfrastructures that already exist in order to identify new collaborations that can combine efforts toward new standards that unify and make interoperable visualization tools and educational content for all of the sciences, from Bio to Astro to Geo. A detailed overview of the day's goals, themes, and presentations can also be downloaded here.

We are requesting that all attendees fill out a short position statement so that we can create handout materials for all participants and better prepare for a focused day. Please use the provided template and email it back at your earliest convenience or by January 10, 2005.


All talks were video recorded and are available here.

  • 9am - 9:30: Welcome, Introduction to the Day, Paul McNamara, SVP/GM Visual Systems Group, SGI (Coffee and Continental Breakfast in Voyager Room)

Presentations in the Reality Center

  • 9:30 - 10:30: Silicon Graphics - A brief history of advanced visualization at SGI, Demo of Media Fusion, David Hughes
  • 10:30 - 10:45: The state of GeoVis - GEON Grid Cyberinfrastructure for the Geosciences, Eric Frost
  • BREAK 10 minutes

Hands-On Demonstration in the Solutions Lab

  • 10:45 – 11:10: Digital Earth Evolution and the GeoMatrix, on the PRISM Visualization System Paul Hansen, Chuck Stein, GeoFusion
  • 11:10 – 11:50: Visual Area Network, Michael Brown - Collaborative GeoVis with Cal-(IT)² Eric Frost (John Graham, remote)
  • BREAK 10 minutes

Presentations in the Voyager Room

  • Noon – 12:45: André Skupin – The Spatialization of Knowledge, Katy Börner - Mapping Knowledge Domains and the InfoVis Cyberinfrastructure, Ramana Rao - InformationFlow
  • 12:40 - 1:20pm: Lunch and Networking

Themed Discussions in the Voyager Room

  • 1:20pm - 2:20pm: Cross-fertilizing GeoVis, InfoVis and SciVis - Challenges and Opportunities - leader: Katy Börner
  • 2:20pm to 3:20: Multidisciplinary Research Challenges in the Geospatial Semantic Web - leader: Mike Liebhold
  • (Theme sessions include Concept Mapping by Visual Journalist, Eileen Clegg)
  • BREAK (10 min.)
  • 3:30pm to 4pm Next Steps, Funding Options, Preparation for White Paper/Report
  • 4pm to 4:30pm: Transport to NASA Ames
  • 4:30pm to 5pm: From Nano to Astro - Advanced Visualization and Analysis with the Hyperwall, Christopher Henze
  • 5pm to 5:15pm: Tour of the Columbia System Supercomputer, NASA Ames
  • 6:00 to 8:00pm: Banquet Dinner at Chef Chu’s and Special Address, “High Expectations: Visualization and the Future of Social Cognition” Jaron Lanier, Visiting Scientist, SGI.

Confirmed Presenters and Invitees:

Extended Bios >>

To ease cross-fertilization, all people have been classified using the subsequent categories:

  • IV - InfoVis
  • GV - GeoVis
  • SV - SciVis
  • GL - GeoLit
  • II - Immersive Interfaces
  • C - Cyberinfrastr
  • A - Art

Confirmed Presenters/Organizers

  • Bonnie DeVarco, MediaTertia [bio] GV, GL, II
  • Katy Börner, Indiana University, School of Library and Information Science, InfoVis Lab [bio] [PosPaper] IV, C
  • Christopher Henze, NASA Ames SV, II
  • David Hughes, MediaFusion [bio] SV, II, C
  • Erik Frost, San Diego Supercomputer Center, SDSU Visualization Lab, Cal -(IT)² , NPACI [bio] GV, GL, C
  • Paul Hansen, GeoFusion [bio] GV
  • Jaron Lanier [PosPaper] SV, II, A
  • Mike Liebhold, Starhill, Institute for the Future (IFTF) [bio] GL, C
  • Chuck Stein, GeoFusion [bio] GV
  • André Skupin, University of New Orleans, Geography and spatialization of knowledge [bio] [PosPaper] GV , IV
  • Ramana Rao, Inxight (Hyperbolic Tree) [bio] IV

Confirmed Invitees

  • Kevin Boyack, Sandia Labs, VxInsight IV, GV
  • Stuart K. Card, Xerox Parc IV
  • Eileen Clegg, Visual Insight, Institute for the Future (IFTF) A
  • Margaret Corbit, Cornell Theory Center [PosPaper] SV, II
  • Sara Fabrikant, University of California, Santa Barbara [PosPaper] GV, IV
  • Zann Gill, NASA Ames GL, A [PosPaper]
  • Marina Gorbis, Director, Technology Horizons Program, Insitute for the Future (IFTF) [bio] GV, GL, C
  • Todd Helt, Telemorphic GV [PosPaper]
  • Don Middleton, Visualization Group, National Center for Atmospheric Research, UCAR GV, SV
  • Alex Soojung Kim Pang, Research Director, Institute for the Future (IFTF) [bio] SV, IV, GV
  • Jeffrey Perrone, PearlSoup.com C, GV, A
  • Deborah MacPherson, Context Driven Topologies, Accuracy&Aesthetics A
  • Jeff Sale, SDSU, EOT-PACI GV, II
  • Ben Shneiderman, University of Maryland IV
  • Steve Smith, LANL [PosPaper] IV
  • Velvin R. Watson, CPSE, NASA [PosPaper] II, SV
  • Maria Zemankova, NSF Program Director, Information & Data Management Program (IDM), Information & Intelligent Systems Division (IIS), Computer & Information Science and Engineering Directorate (CISE) [PosPaper] IV, C

SGI Principals

  • Paul McNamara, Senior Vice President and General Manager of SGI's Visual Systems Group
  • Eng Lim Goh, Chief Technology Officer, Silicon Graphics
  • Rocky Rhodes, Chief Engineer, Silicon Graphics
  • Bob Bishop, Chief Executive Officer, Silicon Graphics
  • Tony DeVarco
  • Michael Brown [bio]
  • Dixie Fisher
  • Dave Gibson

Interested Researchers (which won't be able to attend this time)

  • Chris Catherasoo, NASA- JPL GV, SV
  • Pak Chung Wong, Pacific Northwest Laboratory IV
  • Alan MacEachren, Pennsylvania State University; Director, GeoVISTA Center; Chair, International Cartographic Association Commission on Visualization GV
  • Felice Frankel, MIT A
  • Timothy Foresman, Digital Earth, UNEP [bio] GV, GL, C
  • Michael Goodchild, University of California, Santa Barbara , National Center for Geographic Information and Analysis (NCGIA); Alexandria Digital Library Project GV
  • Christopher G. Healey, North Carolina State University IV
  • W. Bradford Paley, Digital Image Design Incorporated A, IV
  • Larry Smarr, San Diego Supercomputer Center, SDSU Visualization Lab, Cal -(IT)² C
  • Martin Wattenberg, IBM Research A, IV

Special Thanks to

  • Indiana University, School of Information Science
  • Silicon Graphics, Inc.
    • Visual Systems Group
    • Executive Team SGI
    • CBC Staff
  • NASA Ames VizLab and the Columbia Project
  • SDSU VizLab and Cal(IT)²
  • Porcelainia – Metaphors of Geometric Proportion
  • VisualInsight
  • Baron MediaRT


Maps and Directions to the Silicon Graphics Campus in Mountain View.
Information on the workshop location - SGI's CBC Facility.