News Break: Visualize Pakistan’s news

“Humans can quickly understand the relative position of the different entities and their relationships in a picture. Interface designers can capitalize on this by shifting some of the cognitive load of information retrieval to the perceptual system. By appropriately coding properties by size, position, shape, and color, we can greatly reduce the need for explicit selection, sorting, and scanning operations.”

[Shneiderman, 1994]

News Break is a unique news aggregator that helps you visualize the ever-changing news scapeby using different color shades, font sizes and box size. E.g. the most recent news has the darkest shade. It is an attempt and an experiment inspired by various sources. The original idea is not mine I got inspiration from University of Maryland Treemap research and Ben Shneiderman. The idea is to use the visualizing effect of a tree-map to depict news which often portrays a variety of information including source, date, time, topic, etc.

Information Over load?

Information over-load is the problem of today’s world. Information has become pervasive and ubiquitous thanks to the World‐wide web [2] which has now become the largest Information space of our time [3]. This has given rise to the challenge of visualizing a huge amount of information and enabling human to quickly perceive it, understand it and then make decisions.

What is Tree map?

Treemap is a space-constrained visualization of hierarchical structures. It is very effective in showing attributes of leaf nodes using size and color coding. Treemap enables users to compare nodes and sub-trees even at varying depth in the tree, and help them spot patterns and exceptions.


Information Visualization is the science of transforming given information into an easily perceivable and illustrative form. Informally speaking, information is meant to be consumed by human and so perceiving and understanding it is critical; that is representing data into something that makes sense to a human. One of the methods employed to aid in understanding given information is its visualization. The goal of Information Visualization is to present information in a form which enables a human to use his natural visual capabilities to understand it.

The research report here is an effort to elaborate various methods available for Information Visualization over the web.

Download PDF Research Report
“Information Visualization on the web”

References & Credits

Inspired by: “NewsMap”; Marcos Weskamp;
Thanks to NeuroFuzzy for his base Treemap class, which went under major algorithmic changes by me.

[1] “Visualization’s new tack: Making sense of information”; N. Gershon, S. C. Eick; IEEE Spectrum; November 1995; Page 38‐56
[2] “Web‐based Information Visualization”; Randall M. Rohrer, Edward Swing (National Security Agency,USA); IEEE Computer Graphics & Applications; July/August 1997.
[3] “Information Visualization”: N. Gershon, S. C. Eick; S. Card; Interactions; March – April 1998.
[4] “Perceptual dependencies in Information Visualization Assessed by complex visual search”; Ronald Van Den Berg, Frans W. Cornelissen, Jos B. T. M. Roerdink; ACM transactions on applied perception; Vol. 4; No. 4; Article 22; January 2008.
[5] “Visualization of web spaces: State of the Art and Future Directions”; Ozgur Turetken, Ramesh Sharda; The DATA BASE for Advances in Information Systems; Vol. 38; No. 3; August 2007; Page 51.
[6] “The Eyes Have It: A Task by Data Type Taxonomy for Information Visualizations”; B. Shneiderman; IEEE Visual Languages; 1996.
[7] “Ordered and Quantum Treemaps: Making effective use of 2D space to display hierarchies”; B. Shneiderman, Benjamin B. Bederson, Martin Wattenberg; ACM Transactions on Graphics; Vol. 21; Issue 4; October 2002
[8] “Tree Visualization with Treemaps: A 2‐D Space‐Filling Approach”; B. Shneiderman; ACM Transactions on Graphics, 11(1); 1992.
[9] “BreakingStory: Visualizing Change in Online News”; Jean A. Fitzpatrick, James Reffell, Moryma Aydelott; CHI 2003: New Horizons; April 5‐10, 2003.
[10] “Taking Your Talent to the Web: Making the Transition from Graphic Design to Web Design”; Jeffery Zeldman; May 30, 2001.
[11] “NewsMap”; Marcos Weskamp;
[12] “Exploring blog archives with Interactive Visualization”; Indratmo, Julita Vassileva, Carl Gutwin; ACM AVI 2008; May 28‐30 2008; Page 39.


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