What's the Situation with Situated Visualization? A Survey and Perspectives on Situatedness

Nathalie Alexandra Bressa, Henrik Korsgaard, Aurélien Tabard, Steven Houben, Jo Vermeulen

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Situated visualization is an emerging concept within visualization, in which data is visualized in situ, where it is relevant to people. The concept has gained interest from multiple research communities, including visualization, human-computer interaction (HCI) and augmented reality. This has led to a range of explorations and applications of the concept, however, this early work has focused on the operational aspect of situatedness leading to inconsistent adoption of the concept and terminology. First, we contribute a literature survey in which we analyze 44 papers that explicitly use the term 'situated visualization' to provide an overview of the research area, how it defines situated visualization, common application areas and technology used, as well as type of data and type of visualizations. Our survey shows that research on situated visualization has focused on technology-centric approaches that foreground a spatial understanding of situatedness. Secondly, we contribute five perspectives on situatedness (space, time, place, activity, and community) that together expand on the prevalent notion of situatedness in the corpus. We draw from six case studies and prior theoretical developments in HCI. Each perspective develops a generative way of looking at and working with situatedness in design and research. We outline future directions, including considering technology, material and aesthetics, leveraging the perspectives for design, and methods for stronger engagement with target audiences. We conclude with opportunities to consolidate situated visualization research.

Original languageEnglish
Publication dateJan 2022
Number of pages11
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2022


  • Situated visualization
  • literature survey
  • situatedness


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