A Visualization Periodic Table

Most of us know what the Periodic Table of the chemical elements is, but there is more application to that paradigm other than just chemistry.

This is a very interesting and complete table showing Visualization Methods


The original interactive version is here (put the mouse pointer over each symbol and see).

Visual Languages Primitives

Visual languages are based on certain common primitive elements for express the intended message, situtation or subject.

As far as I can see, the most used are…

Concepts: Individual visual representation of ideas.

  • Concrete objects: Object with at least a name or title for identification purposes and with the capability of  being resized or moved across the containing layout.
  • Grouped objects: Shown as one, later expanded in the same space or in a new one. This is the base for composable visualizations. 
  • References: Shortcuts to external objects, either respect to object of the same document but in another page or links to files or internet URLs.

Relationships: Connections between ideas, representing a semantic nexus.

  • Communication: Sending/receiving of information.
  • Action: Process execution flow.
  • Structure: Set of well arranged components that  constitute an entity, so that it shows their association and dependencies.

Layout: Acomodation of the visual elements in a predefined way.

  • Centered (such as in mind maps, using radial or hyperbolic trees).
  • Table (rows and columns, also called Tabular)
  • Hierarchical Tree
  • Column based flow (made for vertical expansion, such as UML Sequence Diagrams)
  • Row based flow (made for horizontal expansion, such as Gantt Charts)
  • Free (such as in concept maps), but mantaining a relative distance between nodes for comfortable reading.

Title and Accesories

  • Main title, maybe with a context reference.
  • Notes and visual cues (such as icons and legends, the later is very important for non domain-versed audience)
  • Extra Information (References, summaries and tables)