Project Description

The idea of the project is to take the knowledge about visualization that you are gaining in the class and apply it to a real problem and real data. You are free to choose whatever application and data you like as long as the scope of the project is reasonable. I'm also providing you with a list of possible projects that you can pick from.

You will choose an application area and set of tasks and implement a visualization technique or system of your own. You may use any existing components or toolkits to help you build your system. The language and platform is also up to you.


Group Size: 2-4 students.
Expectations will be adjusted according to group size.

Important dates:

Project Types:

There are three types of possible projects: Technique projects, System projects, and evaluation projects. The three types of projects may be combined in some circumstances but please talk to us first.


You may choose the software that gets the job done best or that you are most comfortable with. A fantastic list of available software resources can be found on Tamara's page.

For a technique project I am expecting a significant programming effort on your part.


The project is worth 40% of your final grade.
Marking of the project will be broken down as follows:

20%: Proposal
    10% Content
    10%: Written report

20%: Update

60%: Final
    10%: Presentation
    35%: Content
    15%: Written report


M1: Project Summary (due Apr 11)

The project summary does not count for marks. It is the first iteration of your proposal and a chance to get feedback on your proposal before it is marked.

Meet with us in person after you prepare your summary. If you do the summary and meet with us before Mar 31 you will have more time to prepare your proposal. While it might be ok to sign off on your project after only one meeting, it might require several iterations. Hence, please do not wait until the last day for talking with us and brainstorming together.

I'd also suggest to not worry about any software systems to use until you have a clear understanding what visualization problem you are trying to tackle. What are the requirements and what are the expected outcomes? What user interaction will be required? Only after you have a clear understanding of the visualization issues, only then go and figure out which tools might be best suited to help you accomplish these set goals. Sometimes no single tool will accomplish what you need and you either have to pipeline different tools together or write custom code to extend a particular tool.

Prepare a webpage with the following information and email us the link:

M2: Proposal + Lo-Fi Prototyping - May 03

Presentation length: 15min (leave 3-5 minutes for questions) (schedule)

Expand and revise your Project Summary webpage. Include all of the information required for the Summary (you may update it or revise it) plus:

You will present your proposal in class on Apr 28 or May 03. You may either use your webpage or a separate format for your presentation. Include some questions or discussion points in your presentation to help you obtain useful feedback from the class.

M3: Hi-Fi Prototype presentations - May 31 + Jun 02

Presentation length: 15min (leave 3-5 minutes for questions) (schedule)

You will present the following in class on May 31 or June 01. Make sure this meeting is structured and you have prepared for it, don't 'wing it'. You may either use your webpage or a separate format for your presentation. However, please update your website as well so that it also includes your current status in the following:

Include some questions or discussion points in your presentation to help you obtain useful feedback from the class. Also, please be mindful of the presentation time and practice so that you stay in time.

M4: Final Presentations - Jun 21+23

Presentation length: 15min (leave 3-5 minutes for questions) (schedule)

Interested people from outside the class will be invited so you should expect a few members of the audience who have never seen your project idea. Give a complete description of your project, including the problem, approach, results, and an analysis of the strengths and weaknesses. Focus more on the results and analysis since most of the audience will have seen your proposal and update. Demonstrate how your software works through screen shots or a live demo. (If you choose to do a live demo, make sure you have screen shots available as a back-up in case something goes wrong.) Leave a bit of time at the end for audience questions.

Also, please practice your presentation so that you stay in time.

M4: Final Report

Due date: Jun 30, Last day of class
Report format: PDF document

The final report should be a stand-alone document describing your complete project. You should assume the reader has no prior knowledge of your project and has not read your proposal. Include the following information in your report:

Your report should include screen shots of your software that demonstrate how it functions. There is no specific page limit so take as much room as you need for images. Some of the above sections will be much longer than others. (I would strongly advocate to write your report using the latex templates used for the Vis conference.)

Projects from other courses

Several visualization courses from other schools have past projects posted online. Viewing these previous projects may give you some ideas or help you determine what scope is reasonable.