>Visualization – Tokyo Underground Map

>I spotted this visualization of an underground line in Tokyo and thought that I can use this as an interesting introductory example in information visualization. The very simple question is: what does this visualization communicate to the user? The bi-lingual labeled picture is quite rich in the way it communicates the information. Take as one example the visualization of “Where am I?” and “Where is the train going to?”. This is visualized in multiple and redundant ways: (1) the station where the user is highlighted with a red background color, (2) the visualization of the underground line has a break at the current station, (3) the stations the train has already passed are lighter colored (pink) as the stations to come, and (4) there is an arrow showing the direction.

Overall I think this is a good example of how to efficiently communicate such information. But be careful if you travel … there are also much more confusing signs around here.

Visualization – Tokyo Underground Map

I spotted this visualization of an underground line in Tokyo and thought that I can use this as an interesting introductory example in information visualization. The very simple question is: what does this visualization communicate to the user? The bi-lingual labeled picture is quite rich in the way it communicates the information. Take as one example the visualization of “Where am I?” and “Where is the train going to?”. This is visualized in multiple and redundant ways: (1) the station where the user is highlighted with a red background color, (2) the visualization of the underground line has a break at the current station, (3) the stations the train has already passed are lighter colored (pink) as the stations to come, and (4) there is an arrow showing the direction.

Overall I think this is a good example of how to efficiently communicate such information. But be careful if you travel … there are also much more confusing signs around here.

Visualization – Tokyo Underground Map

I spotted this visualization of an underground line in Tokyo and thought that I can use this as an interesting introductory example in information visualization. The very simple question is: what does this visualization communicate to the user? The bi-lingual labeled picture is quite rich in the way it communicates the information. Take as one example the visualization of “Where am I?” and “Where is the train going to?”. This is visualized in multiple and redundant ways: (1) the station where the user is highlighted with a red background color, (2) the visualization of the underground line has a break at the current station, (3) the stations the train has already passed are lighter colored (pink) as the stations to come, and (4) there is an arrow showing the direction.

Overall I think this is a good example of how to efficiently communicate such information. But be careful if you travel … there are also much more confusing signs around here.

>Shared editing is still hard – why?

>Having coordinated the editing of a shared document with about 100 pages I still wonder why I have not come across a really good solutions that work in a real life context. We were 10 people working on the document which also contained about 100 references various tables and graphs, which originated in spreadsheets. Our solution using (different version) of Microsoft Word and Excel on different platforms (Win and Mac) was at best sup-optimal. Track changes works great if I write something and someone else corrects it – but with a larger number of people creating and reworking the document just seems unmanageable.

We tried google-docs before, which is nice for joint editing but lack essential functions and is to my experience unreliable. We lost most of the document we created at some point. The same happened to one of our students writing up his project…

The purists argue that Latex and SVN is the solution – however if you have ever worked with real people outside the geek world you will know that it is not :-) and it would question if there was any progress in text processing in the last 20 years at all.

Is it only me who does not see the solution? Here are the requirements:

  • Shared editing of a document of considerable size (100+ pages)
  • Functionality required for larger scientific documents such as styles, (cross)-reference, creation of tables, etc.
  • Comfort functions in editing, such as spelling and grammar checking, auto completion, tracking of changes
  • Works in a heterogeneous environment including Macs and Windows and across administrative domains (e.g. people can be behind different firewalls)
  • Automatically creating a backup of the document every few minutes
  • Integration of other media (e.g. images) and data sources (e.g. spreadsheet tables)

What is your solution? I think mine (email and copy and paste) is not really the optimal one….

In comparison to some years ago awareness, video and audio conferencing with skype works very well – but again for application sharing I have not seen a perfect solution that works in real live – any suggestions?

PS: our final and printed document missed 115 spaces (a known error from exchanging docx between Windows and Mac)

Shared editing is still hard – why?

Having coordinated the editing of a shared document with about 100 pages I still wonder why I have not come across a really good solutions that work in a real life context. We were 10 people working on the document which also contained about 100 references various tables and graphs, which originated in spreadsheets. Our solution using (different version) of Microsoft Word and Excel on different platforms (Win and Mac) was at best sup-optimal. Track changes works great if I write something and someone else corrects it – but with a larger number of people creating and reworking the document just seems unmanageable.

We tried google-docs before, which is nice for joint editing but lack essential functions and is to my experience unreliable. We lost most of the document we created at some point. The same happened to one of our students writing up his project…

The purists argue that Latex and SVN is the solution – however if you have ever worked with real people outside the geek world you will know that it is not :-) and it would question if there was any progress in text processing in the last 20 years at all.

Is it only me who does not see the solution? Here are the requirements:

  • Shared editing of a document of considerable size (100+ pages)
  • Functionality required for larger scientific documents such as styles, (cross)-reference, creation of tables, etc.
  • Comfort functions in editing, such as spelling and grammar checking, auto completion, tracking of changes
  • Works in a heterogeneous environment including Macs and Windows and across administrative domains (e.g. people can be behind different firewalls)
  • Automatically creating a backup of the document every few minutes
  • Integration of other media (e.g. images) and data sources (e.g. spreadsheet tables)

What is your solution? I think mine (email and copy and paste) is not really the optimal one….

In comparison to some years ago awareness, video and audio conferencing with skype works very well – but again for application sharing I have not seen a perfect solution that works in real live – any suggestions?

PS: our final and printed document missed 115 spaces (a known error from exchanging docx between Windows and Mac)

Shared editing is still hard – why?

Having coordinated the editing of a shared document with about 100 pages I still wonder why I have not come across a really good solutions that work in a real life context. We were 10 people working on the document which also contained about 100 references various tables and graphs, which originated in spreadsheets. Our solution using (different version) of Microsoft Word and Excel on different platforms (Win and Mac) was at best sup-optimal. Track changes works great if I write something and someone else corrects it – but with a larger number of people creating and reworking the document just seems unmanageable.

We tried google-docs before, which is nice for joint editing but lack essential functions and is to my experience unreliable. We lost most of the document we created at some point. The same happened to one of our students writing up his project…

The purists argue that Latex and SVN is the solution – however if you have ever worked with real people outside the geek world you will know that it is not :-) and it would question if there was any progress in text processing in the last 20 years at all.

Is it only me who does not see the solution? Here are the requirements:

  • Shared editing of a document of considerable size (100+ pages)
  • Functionality required for larger scientific documents such as styles, (cross)-reference, creation of tables, etc.
  • Comfort functions in editing, such as spelling and grammar checking, auto completion, tracking of changes
  • Works in a heterogeneous environment including Macs and Windows and across administrative domains (e.g. people can be behind different firewalls)
  • Automatically creating a backup of the document every few minutes
  • Integration of other media (e.g. images) and data sources (e.g. spreadsheet tables)

What is your solution? I think mine (email and copy and paste) is not really the optimal one….

In comparison to some years ago awareness, video and audio conferencing with skype works very well – but again for application sharing I have not seen a perfect solution that works in real live – any suggestions?

PS: our final and printed document missed 115 spaces (a known error from exchanging docx between Windows and Mac)

Finishing my term as External Examiner at Trinity College Dublin

Over the last three years I have been regularly to Dublin to act as external examiner for the Ubicomp MSc course. For me this was a good experience to see how serious The School of Computing at Trinity College takes external quality control and how well processes are managed. And besides the administrative part I saw a great many interesting MSc dissertations over the years. Even though the term has come to an end I hope to travel to Dublin in the future too – perhaps on Holiday to see more of the city (which I did not really manage …)

PS: recession seems to have hit Ireland – I have never seen such short queue in Dublin airport – and it is definatly not the selfservice machines that reduced the queue …

>Finishing my term as External Examiner at Trinity College Dublin

>Over the last three years I have been regularly to Dublin to act as external examiner for the Ubicomp MSc course. For me this was a good experience to see how serious The School of Computing at Trinity College takes external quality control and how well processes are managed. And besides the administrative part I saw a great many interesting MSc dissertations over the years. Even though the term has come to an end I hope to travel to Dublin in the future too – perhaps on Holiday to see more of the city (which I did not really manage …)

PS: recession seems to have hit Ireland – I have never seen such short queue in Dublin airport – and it is definatly not the selfservice machines that reduced the queue …

Finishing my term as External Examiner at Trinity College Dublin

Over the last three years I have been regularly to Dublin to act as external examiner for the Ubicomp MSc course. For me this was a good experience to see how serious The School of Computing at Trinity College takes external quality control and how well processes are managed. And besides the administrative part I saw a great many interesting MSc dissertations over the years. Even though the term has come to an end I hope to travel to Dublin in the future too – perhaps on Holiday to see more of the city (which I did not really manage …)

PS: recession seems to have hit Ireland – I have never seen such short queue in Dublin airport – and it is definatly not the selfservice machines that reduced the queue …