HisVA: A Visual Analytics System for Learning History

Document Type


Journal/Book Title/Conference

IEEE Transactions on Visualization and Computer Graphics


Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers

Publication Date


First Page


Last Page



Learning history involves many difficult tasks. Examples include searching for proper data in a large event space, understanding stories of historical events by time and space, and finding relationships among events that may not be apparent. Instructors who extensively use well-organized and well-argued materials (e.g., textbooks and online resources) can lead students to a narrow perspective in understanding history and prevent spontaneous investigation of historical events, with the students asking their own questions. In this work, we proposed HisVA, a visual analytics system that allows the efficient exploration of historical events from Wikipedia using three views: event, map, and resource. HisVA provides an effective event exploration space, where users can investigate relationships among historical events by reviewing and linking them in terms of space and time. To evaluate our system, we present two case studies, a user study with a qualitative analysis of user exploration strategies, and expert feedback with in-class deployment results.