Thursday, December 13, 2007

science visualization vs. information graphics

The terms science visualization and information visualization are often used interchangeably, and while the two disciplines can overlap both tend to present visual data in separate ways.

Science visuals often deal with concrete data structures that represent natural processes, i.e. weather, medical anatomy, and physics, etc… where as information visualization or quantitative information deals with mathematical data structures and are often presented as charts as graphs.

3D renders, hyper-realistic visuals, fly-through animations, and flash cartoons are often the domain of science visuals while vector graphics are more often associated with information graphics.

But from an aesthetic stand point the distinction fades and both scientific visualizations, such as nebulas and electron microscope imagery and graphic content of visual complexity can be captivating sources of inspiration to animators and visual artists.

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