In the research community we are often very interested to see our tools and ideas be used by a wider audience. Yet, once ideas and tools have been published and made available, stories about how these tools and ideas are applied by various user groups rarely reach a wider audience.
In order to help us distribute more broadly how visualization impacts people’s work or lives, leads to decisions being made, or actions being taken, IEEE VIS (arguably the largest and most prestigious visualization conference) hosted the IEEE VIS Discovery Exhibition (2009-2011). In contrast to typical academic contributions at conferences, however, the goal of an entry to the Discovery Exhibition is not to describe a visualization or vis tool per se but to share how it has impacted the people using it. Sharing these stories will help us better understand how visualization research can impact the world and provide our community with tangible experiences to communicate on the impact of our research. For students, this venue provides a great opportunity to meet real users and understand how infovis systems can change their life and get exposure in our research community through an archived entry (published on the Discovery Exhibition website) and a poster at the conference.