The State of Information Visualization

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2009: What Was
Until May 2009, the biggest issue in visualization was access to good data. There were a few standard data sets, and when working with companies we would sometimes get some of their data (which we were not able to share, of course); but comparing visualizations without interesting test data was difficult.

2010: What Will Be
Looking forward, what can we expect from the new year? One product that will have a big impact is Tableau Public. Currently in beta, it will be released in early 2010. It’s a fully functioning version of Tableau Desktop, but it can only save its data to Tableau’s public server (and there are limits on dataset size and data sources). Unlike Protovis, Tableau Public is server-based, with an embedding mechanism that only requires JavaScript. Like Protovis, Tableau offers the possibility to combine different visualizations into a view, with linking between them. The setup is much easier though, and requires no programming.

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