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Visual Storytelling of Big Imaging Data (VSBID) (2017-2021)



Netherlands eScience Center (NLeSC) This project has been awarded under the call "Disruptive Technologies (DTEC) / Joint eScience and Data Science across Top Sectors", which was organized in collaboration with the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research Physical Sciences (NWO) and Commit2Data


Project goal

Data produced by imaging systems is ever growing in size and complexity. Extracting, presenting, and communicating information from “big” (large, complex, heterogeneous) imaging data is a fundamental problem, which is relevant in many areas, ranging from medical care to high-tech information systems. The main research question in this project is how to develop IT support for diagnostic and decision-making processes based on large and complex imaging data. The approach is based on developing novel graphics, visualization, and interaction methods for the exploration of imaging data. A key element is the use of storytelling as a means of visual data communication.

Visual storytelling is an innovative approach for visual presentation and communication that is especially important in situations where the data analyst is not the same person as the decision-maker, and information needs to be exchanged in an intuitive and easy- to-remember way. Diagnostics in radiology will be the primary use case to test the developed approaches. Because of recent developments in information technology and big data, the focus of radiology is shifting and disruptive technologies are required to allow radiology to position itself as a future-proof specialty in healthcare.


This is a collaborative effort of the Johann Bernoulli Institute for Mathematics and Computer Science (research group Scientific Visualization & Computer Graphics), the Radiology Department (Center for Medical Imaging) of the University Medical Center Groningen, and the Center for Information Technology of the University of Groningen. Support will be provided by eScience engineers of the Netherlands eScience Center (NLeSC).

Research questions

The main research question in this project is how to develop IT support for diagnostic and decision processes based on large and complex imaging data. Specifically, we will consider three main research questions (addressed in one work package each):

  • How to tailor 2D and 3D data visualization for visual storytelling of large imaging data?
  • Which devices and interaction techniques are optimal for visual storytelling of large 3D imaging data?
  • How to involve visual storytelling into decision making based on large imaging data?

Work packages

  • WP1: Data visualization. Objective: Explore effective ways for visualizing 2D and 3D data.
  • WP2: Interaction techniques. Objective: Create interaction techniques for image data.
  • WP3: Visual storytelling. Objective: Drawing on WP1 and WP2, create tools for visual storytelling that meet the requirements of visual communication (WP1) and interactive exploration (WP2).

Related papers by theme

All papers
o Caleydo framework
o Visual Storytelling
o Human-Computer Interaction
o Big Data Visualization
o Other