spacer spacer spacer spacer

VisLab Banner



OE/CS Interactive Data Visualization (OE/CS 867:767)
Instructor: Colin Ware
Classroom: J.E. Chase Ocean Engineering Lab, Room 130

This course is about selected topics relating to research in data visualization. It is research-oriented and does not provide an overview or complete introduction to the area. However, it does attempt to provide guidance in carrying out state-of-the-art research. There is a particular emphasis on material related to perceptual and cognitive efficiency and the visual thinking process when using interactive interfaces. Applications relating to oceanography and ocean mapping will be given special attention.

Most of the material given in the course is human-centered rather than machine-centered. In theory, a computer is a universal machine. It can look and feel like anything the designer can invent. The problem is designing the best interface for the task. This involves a knowledge of human perception and cognition.

Topics Covered

Human Perception for Information Display

  • Basic vision and displays
  • Elementary interactive graphics programming
  • Color Basics & Color For Information Display
  • Texture, pattern and motion for information display
  • The visual thinking process when using visualizations as cognitive tools
  • Interactive methods and cognitive efficiency

Visual Thinking Tools and Tasks

  • Flow Visualization
  • Graph Vualization
  • Interactive Techniques
  • Input, Virtual Viewpoint Control, Virtual Reality
  • Multi-dimensional Data Visualization
  • GeoSpatial Data Visualization
  • Visualization Research Methodologies?

The format will be 60% lectures, 20% student presentations, 20% project-related discussions. The course will require the completion of a research project, typically an innovative visualization prototype, or a human factors evaluation of some system or concept in interactive visualization. Students will be encouraged to undertake projects that have relevance to ocean mapping.


  • Assignments: (2 programming, 1 paper) 35%
  • In class tests of concepts 5%
  • In class presentation and critique: 10%
  • Project: 50% (includes written report, related presentations, etc.) Scholarship, design, quality, originality.

Textbook (recommended, not required):

Visual Thinking for Design. Colin Ware. Morgan Kaufman, 2008.


  • In class presentations: April 14 - April 29.
  • Final project report due: May 11.


Assignment 1: Vector Field Representation

Vector Particle Example Source Code

Data: Data Files

Assignment 2: Evaluating animation for Vector Field Display

Main_V2_VF.cpp stopwatch_code

Assignments 3&4:Essay and Presentation


Research Methods


Other Resources

OpenGL Resources


CCOM-JHC Logo   The VisLab is part of the Center for Coastal & Ocean Mapping/Joint Hydrographic Center
at the University of New Hampshire
  UNH Logo
spacer spacer spacer spacer spacer