The main goal of this book is to enable readers and students to expand their understanding of the field of interactive data visualization. To achieve this, we explore the fundamental components of the visualization process,from the data to the human viewer. At each stage, we present the basic terminology and concepts, along with techniques and algorithms in common use today.

The book is geared towards practitioners and developers, as well as those just wishing to gain some exposure to the field, for which we present topics at multiple levels of detail. Those wanting an indepth understanding of techniques are provided with sufficient information, often with full source code, to complete an implementation, while those with more modest aspirations can focus on the concepts and highlevel algorithm details

For developers, we provide guidance in the design of effective visualizations, using methods derived from the study of human perception, graphical design, art, and usability analysis. While we cannot guarantee the effectiveness of a visualization designed using these guidelines (in fact, some guidelines may be contradictory), it is a good idea to examine the resulting visualization using different evaluation criteria.

For practitioners, we describe a wide range of existing visualization systems, both public and commercial, and show how these are used to solve specific problems in a wide range of domains. This will enable users of visualization systems to select appropriate tools for their tasks.

Finally, for researchers in visualization, we describe directions for current and future research, identifying some of the emerging technology and hot topics being developed at academic and industrial centers today. We hope that the information contained in this textbook is sufficient to enable researchers new to the field to acquire the background necessary to understand the details and significance of current research being presented in conferences and journals in this field.