It’s nice to see an idea evolve and get picked up by other people. Which is why I’m excited to have spotted the first third-party implementation of Parallel Sets in the wild: a (Windows-only) program called Knowledge Blocks that allows you to visually piece together a query and show the results in a table or a Parallel Sets display.
It’s not interactive, but it’s a start. And I like the fact that the author makes no big deal about it: it’s just a Parallel Sets view after all, like a scatterplot or maybe Parallel Coordinates.
There hasn’t been much activity on the Parallel Sets program recently, so I figured I’d use this opportunity to give you a little update. All versions of the program taken together have been downloaded over 1,000 times in the year or so that the program has been available. I am getting emails regularly from people either thanking me for the program (which is awesome) or reporting bugs (which is also great, because it shows that people use it). I am still surprised by the variety of uses people are finding for it: from simple categories to data flow and text mining.
I have collected a number of important issues that need to be addressed, and I also have a few ideas about new features to add (partly based on suggestions from users). Without committing to a particular date, I am hoping to get the 2.2 release out around VisWeek 2010 (i.e., end of October).
Next week, I will also be speaking on a panel at the iVAC Consortium Meeting. That panel will be about getting tools out into the hands of users, so unsurprisingly Parallel Sets will be my topic there.
Beyond the next release, I am hoping to connect the program a lot more to Parallel Coordinates, and we actually might be getting funding to do that soon. I can’t talk about specifics right now, but it looks promising. So keep your fingers crossed, and I will keep you posted on any and all developments.