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Information Visualization

We make sense out of data.

We’re a team of visual analytics researchers who love making big, complex data useful through great visual design, compelling interaction, support for sound analytic methods, and solid engineering. We invent new visual metaphors, create analysis algorithms, and deliver software products that put useful analytic capabilities into our users’ hands. We draw expertise from across the laboratory – people like statisticians, machine vision experts, modelers, and domain scientists – to work with us to create solutions for our customers’ hardest analysis challenges.

We work with text, image, audio, video, and numerical data, helping people discover patterns, trends, relationships, and events in complex data. And we care about the sensemaking process – how new analytic workflows and reasoning strategies help people make sound decisions from their data.

  • Research: Our research explores the foundations of visual analysis, supporting the discovery of insights from complex data that encompasses multiple dimensions, sources, data forms, time variants, and languages. We take into consideration the application of human judgment to make the best possible use of incomplete, inconsistent, and potentially deceptive information in the face of rapidly changing situations.
  • Products: The Pacific Northwest National Laboratory has a long history of transferring its information visualization research to high-impact tools for its customers. The wide deployment of PNNL’s information visualization software such as IN-SPIRE and Canopy, and publications in top visualization journals and conference proceedings are the results of PNNL researchers’ dedication to helping people make sense of massive amounts of complex data.
  • Our Staff: Everyone on the Visual Analytics team works to provide strategic value to our clients by discovering, developing, and deploying innovative visual analytics technologies that enable timely and profound insights from complex data. Our passion is to help users to detect the expected and discover the unexpected; to provide timely and defensible assessments; and to communicate assessments effectively for action.
Example visualizations

Core Areas


Contact Us

If you would like more information about any of the capabilities on this site, please write to us at and we will connect you with the appropriate team member.

Building a Community

In 2004, DHS commissioned PNNL to create the National Visualization and Analytics Center (NVAC) as a resource for visual analytics technology and tools. NVAC gathered experts in the field from government, industry, and academia, and wrote a research agenda (PDF) to guide the new field of visual analytics. Illuminating the Path

Since then, NVAC has expanded the focus beyond the needs of DHS and formed the Visual Analytics Community. Find out more at