I distinguish between information visualizations and knowledge visualizations.
- Information visualization: Information visualizations are visual representations of patterns (concepts, perceived regularities), e.g. bar graph, line graph, pie chart, or word clouds. These isolated patterns do not make sense without contextual knowledge.
|This pie chart shows a pattern without context.|
- Knowledge visualization: Knowledge visualizations are visual representations of the connections (or context) between concepts. Knowledge visualizations show concepts in context, while information visualizations show isolated concepts.
- Knowledge visualizations can show meaningfully grouped concepts, for example in Venn diagrams, grouped lists, tables, matrixes.
- Knowledge visualizations can make the connections between concepts explicit, for example concept maps, or semantic maps.
|This concept map shown connections between concepts.|
Concepts can be understood by seeing them in context to other concepts.