This book is the result of a community effort of the partners of the VisMaster Coordinated Action funded by the European Union. The overarching aim of VisMaster was to create a research roadmap that outlines the current state of visual analytics across many disciplines, and to describe the next steps that have to be taken to foster a strong visual analytics community, thus enabling the development of advanced visual analytic applications.

The primary sources for this book are the final reports of the thematic working groups set up by the consortium. Each group focused on a particular aspect of visual analytics and brought together interested parties from a wide range of disciplines to collaborate on this task. The main authors of each chapter are given on each page, however there were contributions from many of the full, secondary and community partners as well as helpful comments and suggestions from external reviewers.

The first chapter introduces the problem space in terms of making sense of very large, complex datasets and outlines the vision for visual analytics. The second chapter looks at some application areas for visual analytics and then defines visual analytics in terms of the knowledge discovery process and considers the many scientific disciplines that contribute towards visual analytics. Chapters 3 to 8 present the work of the specialised working groups within the VisMaster consortium. Each of these chapters starts by giving an outline of the problem area and some relevant background information. An overview of the state of the art in the particular domain is then presented, with reference to visual analytics; challenges and opportunities are then identified; and finally, suggestions that are pertinent to the subject of the chapter, are put forward for discussion. The higher-level recommendations for the direction for future research in visual analytics, as put forward by every chapter authors are collectively summarised and categorised in the final chapter.

The book will be available from EuroGraphics later in November. However, an electronic version can be downloaded (at the end of this page) or each chapter can be downloaded separately (see individual chapter pages).

We would like to thank all the partners of VisMaster (including community partners) who have contributed to creating this book. Whilst some have produced chapters, others have been involved with the reviewing process and/or coordinating their work groups. Special thanks goes to Bob Spence and Devina Ramduny-Ellis for their most helpful comments and contributions.

We are appreciative of the excellent technical and creative support given by Florian Stoffel, Juri Buchmüller and Michael Regenscheit. We are truly grateful once more for the excellent support of Eurographics, and in particular Stefanie Behnke, for publishing this work. Last but not least, we are indebted to the European Commission, and especially, the project officer of VisMaster CA, Dr. Teresa de Martino, for supporting us throughout; her efforts have contributed appreciably to the success of this project.

This project was funded by the Future and Emerging Technologies (FET) programme within the Seventh Framework Programme for Research of the European Commission, under FET-Open grant number: 225924.

We hope that the content of this book will inspire you to apply current visual analytics technology to solve your real-world data problems, and to engage in the community effort to define and develop visual analytics technologies to meet future challenges.

The editors:
Daniel Keim (Scientific Coordinator of VisMaster), Jörn Kohlhammer (Coordinator of VisMaster), Geoffrey Ellis and Florian Mansmann


VisMaster Book (25MB)  [note that the images are lower resolution to reduce the file size]