IEEE Transactions on Visualization and Computer Graphics

IEEE Transactions on Visualization and Computer Graphics (TVCG) is a monthly journal that publishes research on subjects related to computer graphics and visualization techniques, systems, software, hardware, and user interface issues. Read the full scope of TVCG.


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From the September 2017 issue

Timelines Revisited: A Design Space and Considerations for Expressive Storytelling

By Matthew Brehmer, Bongshin Lee, Benjamin Bach, Nathalie Henry Riche, and Tamara Munzner

Featured articleThere are many ways to visualize event sequences as timelines. In a storytelling context where the intent is to convey multiple narrative points, a richer set of timeline designs may be more appropriate than the narrow range that has been used for exploratory data analysis by the research community. Informed by a survey of 263 timelines, we present a design space for storytelling with timelines that balances expressiveness and effectiveness, identifying 14 design choices characterized by three dimensions: representation, scale, and layout. Twenty combinations of these choices are viable timeline designs that can be matched to different narrative points, while smooth animated transitions between narrative points allow for the presentation of a cohesive story, an important aspect of both interactive storytelling and data videos. We further validate this design space by realizing the full set of viable timeline designs and transitions in a proof-of-concept sandbox implementation that we used to produce seven example timeline stories. Ultimately, this work is intended to inform and inspire the design of future tools for storytelling with timelines.

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           TVCG is indexed in MEDLINE®/PubMed® & ISI

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