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Volume 11 / Issue 4

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DOI:   10.3217/jucs-011-04-0473


Tube Map Visualization: Evaluation of a Novel Knowledge Visualization Application for the Transfer of Knowledge in Long-Term Projects

Remo Aslak Burkhard (University of St.Gallen, Switzerland)

Michael Meier (vasp datatecture GmbH, Switzerland)

Abstract: This article introduces two theoretical concepts for the emerging field Knowledge Visualization and discusses a new visualization application that was used to communicate a long-term project to various stakeholders in an organization. First, we introduce a theoretical framework and a model for Knowledge Visualization. The framework and the model identify and relate the key-aspects for successful Knowledge Visualization applications. Next, we present an evaluation of an implemented Knowledge Visualization application: The Tube Map Visualization. A quality development process had to be established in an education centre for health care professions. Traditional project plans, flyers, and mails did not manage to get the attention, did present overview and detail insufficiently, and did not motivate the employees for actions. Because Visual Metaphors are effective for Knowledge Communication we developed a customized Knowledge Map based on the tube system metaphor. The Tube Map Visualization illustrates the whole project, where each tube line represents a target group and each station a milestone. The visualization was printed as a poster and displayed at prominent locations in the organization. The findings of an evaluation indicate that the Tube Map Visualization is a powerful metaphor to communicate a complex project to different target groups and to build up a mutual story. The employees considered it useful because it provides overview and detailed information in one image and because it initiates discussion. The Tube Map Visualization is therefore helpful to complement traditional project plans of (1) long-term projects where (2) different stakeholders are involved. The theoretical framework, the model, and the findings have implications for researchers in the fields of Knowledge Management, Knowledge Visualization, Information Visualization, and Communication Sciences.

Keywords: information visualization, knowledge communication, knowledge visualization, project management, storytelling, visual metaphor

Categories: H.5.2, H.5.3