Social Visualization: Exploring Text, Audio, and Video Interactions

Workshop at CHI 2006 







In this workshop, we address the importance and uses of social visualizations. In particular, we explore visualizations of text, audio, and visual interaction data to uncover social connections and interaction patterns in online and physical spaces. We stress the need to move beyond typical visualizations to date and explore new design approaches for creating social visualizations. Finally, we address the need for comparing and evaluating the effectiveness of social visualizations and the approaches used to create them.

Aim of the Workshop
Our networked environment has provided us with many opportunities for mediated interaction. The immensity of data existing in email archives, blogs, voiceover IP, and camera footage is increasing and is often stored for future perusal. These connections are multiplying and many of them such as webcams exist 24 hours, seven days a week. Information visualization is one way to "describe" our online environments and make interaction patterns and connections salient.

This workshop is aimed at understanding and creating social visualizations, that is, visualizations of social data for social purposes. Social data can be thought of as the traces that people leave as they go about their daily routine. These data may come from different sources such as the online world (i.e. email archives, IM logs, blog postings, etc.) and the physical world (i.e. captured through sensors such as voice by microphone, movement and location data by camera, GPS, cell station, etc.). Visualizations of these kinds of data can be used for increasing awareness of one's social environment, highlighting cues implicit in communication, or for documenting patterns of activity over time.

We will focus on three areas of social visualization:

1. Textual Online Interactions
What are innovative ways of visualizing textual interactions in online environments? Given new online social environments where threaded conversation is not the focal point of interaction - such as blogs and wikis - how can visualization aid social legibility?

2. Audio Visualizations
Despite the ubiquity of email, mediated communication does not happen solely via textual media. Improvements in bandwidth and the growing adoption rates of voice-over IP (VoIP) systems such as 'Skype' have increased audio presence online and within physical spaces. What happens when the social data of visualizations is audio? Can visualizations of audio help a user navigate the audio through time? Can abstracted audio visualizations provide enough privacy for the user in a public space?

3. Video Visualizations
How can we depict endless hours of video footage in meaningful and convenient ways? It is not unusual to think there may be several cameras on any one person at one time. If people wore cameras as well, how would they document the highlights of their day, year, life?


10 Jan '06: Paper Submission Deadline
10 Feb '06: Author Notification
22 Apr '06: Workshop at CHI