Friday, July 5, 2013

Field Directed Work Week 2

The second week of my field directed work involved obtaining an Open Source Center account, finding out the different information dissemination formats and advanced search features of that database and loading and playing with a couple of the visualization tools. This was a short week because of the July 4th holiday falling at the end of the week. What is visual analytics?  According to Wikipedia, visual analytics is “the science of analytical reasoning facilitated by visual interactive interfaces.”  Visual analytic tools are essentially ways to make data interesting, look for trends, commonalities, connections and surprising things about a large amount of data that the naked eye may not have seen. Each individual tool produces different ways of looking at the data, hence by using one dataset it can be viewed in similar and interesting new ways.  Knowing what data format each tool needs to ingest the data is essential which is what I’ll be looking at over the next few weeks.   A couple of the visual analytics tools I will be learning about are IBM’s i2 Analyst’s Notebook and IN-SPIRE.  IN-SPIRE is a tool written in house by scientists at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory.   You can read about the research they do on their website.  Here is the link about IN-SPIRE.  Here is a link to information about IBM i2 Analyst’s Notebook.  Some of the images these two tools can produce include the following:  
 3D SmartFeed  WOS and EV2 screenshot 012413
Membrane Correlation      image
image image
IN-SPIRE images
IBM i2 Analyst’s Notebook Images

I am already familiar with IN-SPIRE and the types of information it can take.  It can take txt, XML, pdf, Word, Excel, CSV, Google and RSS harvests.  For the research this summer I am going to provide datasets from Web of Science and IEEExplore on various search terms given to me by my mentors.  I will download the sets into the bibliographic management tool Reference Manager and export the data from RIS format and convert into XML to be put into IN-SPIRE.  Analyst Notebook prefers CSV and Excel formatted data.  For these and other tools they look for the common attributes of the dataset and figure out ways to visually correlate the information. 

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