VisGap - The Gap between Visualization Research and Visualization Software

held in conjunction with EuroVis 2022
Rome, Italy

June 13, 2022


2022/03/09 Submission deadline extended to 2022/03/23


Over the years, many visualization methods and tools have been developed and published by the visualization research community. However, most of these are prototypes and never reach a state that can be reliably used by the target audience, e.g., domain scientists. Also, availability of these prototypes as source code or at least as executables is still the exception rather than the norm. The VisGap Symposium aims to shed a light on this gap between research and practical applicability, examine the obstacles every researcher faces, and propose solutions to overcome this problem as a community.

VisGap’22 aims at gathering experts from all over the visualization community in order to advance the way our field works with software, sustains software, and values the effort our members put into developing said software. This year, we extend the scope of VisGap to include reproducibility and replicability. Both are cornerstones of the scientific method and essential for building trust in visualizations and increasing their acceptance, ultimately fostering adoption in the wild.

Workshop Topics

Topics include, but are not limited to:

  • Requirements for successful visualization in applications in general
  • Domain-specific requirements for visualizations
  • Reflections on the research community and the visualization software ecosystem
  • Incentives and funding for developing/maintaining visualization research software
  • Legal requirements (e.g., licensing, certification) for visualizations in applications
  • Case studies of (un)successful visualization solutions in applications
  • Requirements for novel visualization libraries
  • Verification and validation in visualization (applications)
  • Reproducibility of visualization


14:20 Session 1: Domain Considerations


Alexander Bock (45 min)

Assistant Professor, Linköping University, Sweden

“It works on my machine” – Transporting the open-source universe from a research lab into planetariums


OpenSpace is an open-source platform designed to visualize the entire known universe. It is designed to be an environment for visualization research, a research tool for astronomers and astrophysicists, and an ecosystem for the public dissemination of human knowledge of space at the same time. Usage of the same software in these three areas enables the rapid deployment of research results to the general public without the need of format conversions when transitioning from a “research software” to a “presentation software” or additional learning curves when learning new softwares for just a presentation. It thus enables a short-circuiting of the knowledge dissemination pipeline by lowering the barrier for domain experts to present their findings to the public instantly. This talk describes the origins of OpenSpace as a PhD thesis project and how it grew into a widely used tool for homes and planetarium shows, present some of the software features, explains some of the design considerations, and elaborate on lessons learned when scaling up research software for use in the general public and dealing with the onslaught of bugs that come with it.

Speaker Bio

Alexander Bock is an Assistant Professor at Linköping University, Sweden. Prior to this, he has been Moore-Sloan Data Science Fellow with the Center for Data Science at New York University and a Research Fellow with the Scientific Computing and Imaging Institute at the University of Utah. He received his PhD in Visualization and Interaction from Linköping University, Sweden. In 2015, he was a visiting Research Scholar with the Community Coordinated Modeling Center at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center, USA. He is also the Development Lead on the open-source Astrovisualization software OpenSpace, developed in collaboration between Linköping University, the American Museum of Natural History, NASA, New York University, and the University of Utah. Bock was awarded 2014 and 2015 with the Best Scientific Visualization poster and 2017 with the Best Scientific Visualization paper awards at the IEEE Visualization conference for his work in the field of Astrovisualization.

Discussion (10 min)

Paper Talk (15 + 5 min):

Simon Su, William Sherman, Steve Satterfield, Terence Griffin, Sandy Ressler, William L. George, Shaw Feng, Judith E. Terrill: Visualization Ecology Applications for Measurement Science: A Visualization Gap Approach

Paper Talk (15 + 5 min):

Victor Schetinger, Saminu Salisu: Physical Traces and Digital Stories: Exploring the Connections Between Forensics and Visualization

16:00 Coffee Break

16:30 Session 2: Reflections

Paper Talk (15 + 5 min):

Tobias Isenberg: Personal Experiences of Providing and Using Research Prototypes

Open Discussion (20 min):

Sharing personal experiences, success stories, and pitfalls in software development for visualization research.

Melanie Tory (45 min)

Director of Data Visualization Research, Northeastern University The Roux Institute

From Research to Tech Translation: Lessons from the Trenches


As visualization researchers, most of us would like to see the results of our research integrated into tools and adopted in practice. Unfortunately, there’s no silver bullet to bridge the gap between visualization research and visualization software, but there are strategies we can take as researchers to increase the likelihood of success. Since 2015 I’ve held various roles in industry-oriented research, mostly at Tableau Software. Over that time, I learned a number of lessons (usually the hard way) about what works in interfacing with software development teams and translating scientific results into practice. In this talk, I’ll share some of those lessons learned and invite a discussion about how visualization research practices might adapt to encourage tech translation.

Speaker Bio

Melanie Tory is Director of Data Visualization Research at the Roux Institute, Northeastern University. Her team focuses on empowering people to do more with data, through the design and evaluation of novel visualization techniques, human-data interactions, and technology interfaces. She is especially focused on visualizations for health and engineering applications, and the interplay between visualization and AI, in alignment with other priority research areas at the Roux. In her previous role at Tableau, Melanie managed an applied user research team and conducted research in natural language interaction with visualizations, ultimately commercialized as Tableau’s Ask Data feature. She also worked as a faculty member in visualization at the University of Victoria, where she explored topics such as collaborative and personal visual analytics. Melanie earned her PhD in Computer Science from Simon Fraser University and her BSc from the University of British Columbia. She is Associate Editor of IEEE Computer Graphics and Applications, IEEE Transactions on Visualization & Computer Graphics, and Computer Graphics Forum, and has served as Papers Co-chair for the IEEE Information Visualization and ACM Interactive Surfaces and Spaces conferences.

Discussion (10 min)

Call for Papers

We solicit papers with 4-8 pages in the VisGap 2022 latex style (see above for the scope of the workshop), with an additional page allowed for references. All submissions must be original works that have not been published previously in any conference proceedings, magazine, journal, or edited book or must present a substantial extension of previous work (at least 30%). Papers are to be submitted via PCS.

All submissions will undergo a single-blind, single-stage peer review process. Accepted papers will be published by the Eurographics Association, and be stored in the Eurographics Digital Library. At least one author of each accepted paper must register and participate in the VisGap 2022 workshop to present the accepted work.

All papers must be submitted through PCS ( (Society: Eurographics; Conference/Journal: VisGap 2022)

Important Dates

  • March 9, 2022 March 23, 2022 extended Submission deadline
  • April 15, 2022 April 20, 2022 Notification
  • April 22, 2022 April 27, 2022 Camera ready version
  • June 13, 2022 Workshop

Workshop Chairs

Christina Gillmann, Leipzig University, Germany
Michael Krone, Eberhard Karls University of Tübingen, Germany
Guido Reina, University of Stuttgart, Germany
Thomas Wischgoll, Wright State University, Dayton, USA


Program Committee

Karen Bemis, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, USA
Yun Jang, Sejong University, South Korea
Daniel Jönsson, Linköping University, Norrköping, Sweden
Kresimir Matkovic, VRVis Research Center, Austria
Jorji Nonaka, RIKEN Center for Computational Science, Kobe, Japan
Johanna Schmidt, VRVis Research Center, Austria
Tom Vierjahn, Westphalian University of Applied Sciences, Germany
Daniel Wiegreffe, Leipzig University, Germany