The ecological approach to text visualization
T. A. Wise 1999 Journal of the American Society for Information Science v53 p1224-1233
This article presents both theoretical and technical bases on which to build a ‘‘science of text visualization.’’ These conceptually produce ‘‘the ecological approach,’’which is rooted in ecological and evolutionary psychology. The basic idea is that humans are genetically selected from their species history to perceptually interpret certain informational aspects of natural environments. If information from text documents is visually spatialized in a manner conformal with these predilections, its meaningful interpretation to the user of a text visualization system becomes relatively intuitive and accurate. The SPIRE text visualization system, which images information from free text documents as natural terrains, serves as an example of the ‘‘ecological approach’’ in its visual metaphor, its text analysis, and its spatializing procedures.