“The progress of civilization can be read in the invention of visual artifacts, from writing to mathematics, to maps, to printing, to diagrams, to visual computing.”

STUART CARD ET AL., Readings in Information Visualization

Visuals help us think. We sketch a map to give directions, draw a diagram to express a complex idea, and read graphs to understand financial data. Visual thinking is an integral aspect of cognition, and the visualizing of abstract concepts helps us understand the world and communicate about it. The contribution that visuals make to our analytical, reasoning, and problem-solving abilities is far reaching. In his book Things That Make Us Smart, Donald Norman writes, “The power of the unaided ...

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