The purpose of this chapter is to discuss the semiotic approach to form theory of computer visualization. Such theory should be the foundation of design, development, and evaluations of visualization systems. The “direct” semiotic analysis of visualization is defined and the scheme of the analysis is considered. This analysis reveals “who is who” in the process of the visualization semiosis and helps in design and development of the real visualization systems. The analysis allows to describe the problems arising at developments of specialized systems in terms of the semiotics and showing how this analysis can serve as a tool for the visualization systems design. It is important to analyze the sign nature of the human‐computer interface and the visualization. Such conceptions as computer metaphor, metaphor action, and metaphor formula are defined. The properties of metaphors are analyzed with a view to possible usage of metaphors for specific applications. The properties are considered by the example of the hierarchical sequence of the natural Room‐Building‐City (Landscape) metaphors. Also the properties of the molecule metaphor are considered in the context of software visualization systems. In conclusion, some approaches to the theory of computer visualization are outlined.
Part of the book: Interdisciplinary Approaches to Semiotics
This chapter is devoted to finding sources for metaphors of computer visualization and human-computer interaction. Computer metaphor is considered the basic idea for the development of interfaces, visualization views, and scenarios of visualization and interaction. Global metaphors map the main design idea. These ideas depend on global events and changes in society, art, and science. In the “pre-computer” era, such ideas formed the basics of cartography, engineering drawings, and drawing function graphs on the Cartesian plane. When designing visualization and interactive systems, computer metaphors use “magic features” beside analogies with daily life. Nowadays ideas of visualization are often based on “gamification.” This approach presupposes creating tools that provide software engineers with an interface similar to that of computer games. In this chapter, ideas drawn upon fairy tales, science fiction books, fantasy films, and other similar spheres are considered as sources of computer metaphors. Such metaphors are very interesting when designing visualization systems based on virtual reality.
Part of the book: Cognitive and Intermedial Semiotics