Collaborative Visualization for Collective, Connective and Distributed Intelligence

Bonnie DeVarco, co-founder of NextNowNetwork and one of the NextNow Collaboratory’s info viz gurus is facilitating the first Stanford University’s Media X Vanguard Visualization Collaboratory, “Collaborative Visualization for Collective, Connective and Distributed Intelligence:  Structured Data, Synthetic Minds–Visualizing the Dynamics of Knowledge” at Stanford this week.

Below is a description of the event.  We plan to post some key insights from the meeting after its conclusion. You can also visit Bonnie’s blog, Scale Independent Thought, for her deep reflections on the topic, and the Spaces and Places exhibit, created to inspire cross-disciplinary discussion on how best to track and communicate human activity and scientific progress on a global scale, at Stanford’s Wallenberg Hall until December 31, 2009.

“I agree with Nobel Laureate Murray Gell-Mann that the synthesizing mind will be the most valued mind in our century.”
Howard Gardner, Five Minds for the Future

Jeffrey Heer,
Bonnie DeVarco,
Katy Borner

The communication technologies we are creating today will be driven by a new generation of multidisciplinary thinkers, knowledge workers, global problem solvers and a more mobile, distributed workforce than ever before.  Our new generation has been raised on the Internet, game technologies, mobile landscapes, and new forms of social media as we progress into a knowledge economy that is altering our institutional and organizational practices.  The profusion of data and digital information at our fingertips requires new ways to support communication and collaborative sensemaking. In this emergent landscape, the role of visualization technologies to support synthetic perspectives is becoming increasingly valuable. Deep mapping of emergent science paradigms offer satellite views of humanity’s knowledge.  Lightweight visual knowledge systems for public data sharing have evolved to support access to the broader range of information we need to collectively address the world’s most pressing problems.  Open data hubs now support the social construction of knowledge in our digital and physical environments. At the same time, cyberinfrastructures offer us new tools for policy making and decision support in the academic, business and public sector.

This experience will bring together visualization vanguards from the leading edge of science mapping, collaborative visual sensemaking, social network analysis and the emerging semantic web.  Surrounded by the Places & Spaces: Mapping Science Exhibition at Wallenberg Hall and dynamic maps from Stanford’s Spatial History Project and the Human-Computer Interaction Lab, visual thinkers from four departments on campus, designers and special guests will share a series of case studies of their work to gain a synthetic perspective on the future of visualization for connective intelligence. New cyberinfrastructures of scholarly data, network analysis and visualization tools will be presented along with novel approaches to data sharing from the social semantic web. The Shape of Thought mural process will support visual brainstorming and documentation throughout the workshop to create a realtime “map” to the new territories presented.  Discussions will center around:

  • the optimum user interface design approaches for collaboration and access between institutions, disciplines, academia and the general public
  • richer visualization approaches to navigate and synthesize large bodies of networked data

The goal is to catalyze multi-institutional research projects that activate the convergence of new visualization approaches and design tools for distributed knowledge sharing and collaboration.

Facilitated by Jeffrey Heer, Bonnie DeVarco, Katy Borner and assisted by others.

One Comment

  1. It was a fantabulous event…Bonnie, Katy, Eileen, Martha, Chuck, John Kelly all maked it a great event. Sorry you weren’t there Claudia.


Comments are closed.