information visualization toolkit

introduction > application building

The general pattern of building prefuse applications is to

  1. Load the data to be visualized into prefuse's data structures, either reading in data from a file, loading data from a database, or through a custom data source.
  2. Create a Visualization that maps the loaded data to a visual abstraction. Tables, Graphs, and/or Trees are added to the Visualization and given a unique data group name for later reference.
  3. Create a RendererFactory and register it with the Visualization. The factory is responsible for assigning Renderers to VisualItems.
  4. Construct a series of data processing Actions that operate on the visual abstraction. These operations can involve just about anything, but common examples include setting the location, color, size, and shape of visual items or animating these properties between different configurations. These Action instances can be grouped into ActionLists for performing various processing tasks. Actions that will be invoked directly are added to the Visualization and given a unique name by which they can be referenced.
  5. Initialize one or more interactive Displays for viewing and manipulating visual items. Specify interactive behaviors by adding Controls to the Displays. Search and filtering over data items can be added using dynamic query bindings.

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