Making the visualization of concepts more attractive and smarter

Concepts are said to be abstract and general. This makes them so useful but at the same time difficult to grasp. Therefore there have always been attempts to render concepts more “intuitive” and easier to understand by providing them with a visual representation instead of definitions and other textual explanations. Examples abound: ontologies, the diagrams of, e.g., satellite systems for concept analysis (Nuopponen 2010), Euler and Venn diagrams (cf., e.g., Hammer 1995, Moktefi and Shin 2013), the existential graphs of Ch. S. Peirce (Roberts 1973, Queiroz and Stjernfelt 2011) as well as conceptual graphs in logic (cf., e.g., Sowa 1984), the drawings of elementary geometry (Miller 2007), the Hasse diagrams of lattice theory and formal concept analysis (Ganter and Wille 1999), and the diagrams of category theory in mathematics, the structural formulas of chemistry, the force diagram of Lewin’s vector psychology, the network graphs used in both computer science and sociology (as well as in other disciplines). The illustrations in Wüster’s (1968) machine tool dictionary are another good example of visualization and nonverbal representation of concepts.

Drawing techniques, however, are just one type of visualization techniques, others include photography, film and animation. Their importance for human cognition and communication has recently attracted a renewed and more intensive attention from different areas of education, business and research as testified, for instance, by recent proposals for visual representation in terminology. This trend, which has been labelled by such terms as ”the pictorial turn”, ”iconic turn”, or ”visual turn” and which has given rise to the transdisciplinary endeavour of ”visual culture studies”, mirrors the increasingly significant role played by visuals in today's digital society. Via the ubiquitous World Wide Web, images can be distributed globally and using a wide range of digital media and platforms we can access and view these images in a number of ways and in a number of different situations.

The purpose of this workshop is to attract experts from a variety of research areas to participate in an interdisciplinary effort to share and discuss how to make more attractive and smarter visualization techniques that can, in turn, significantly help to represent and communicate more effectively information in different domains of knowledge.

Organizing Committee

  • Professor Klaus Robering (, University of Southern Denmark
  • Associate Professor Lotte Weilgaard Christensen, (, University of Southern Denmark
  • Associate Professor Rocio Chongtay, (,University of Southern Denmark
  • Professor Bettina Berendt, (, KU Leuven, Belgium

Program & Presentations

Here you find the workshop's schedule and presentations' files.

Program: 24th June 2016



Introduction: Rocio Chongtay

The University of Southern Denmark

[presentation file]


Coffee break


Session 1

10:40 Anita Nuopponen

University of Vaasa, Finland

“Satellite system as a visualization tool for concept analysis”

[presentation file]

11:00 Discussion

11:10 Margarita Sordo

Medicine Partners Healthcare, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Harvard Medical School, United States

"Simple Graphical Representations of Ontology-Based Clinical Decision Support Knowledge Assets”

[presentation file]

11:30 Discussion

11:40 Bodil Nistrup Madsen

Copenhagen Business School, Denmark

“The Landscape of Philosophy of Science”

[presentation file]

12:00 Discussion


Lunch break


Session 2

13:00 Jesper Jensen

The University of Southern Denmark, Denmark

“Towards Concept Maps 3.0 Visual Learning Designs as Web Data”

[presentation file]

13:20 Discussion

13:30 Louise Pram Nielsen

Copenhagen Business School, Denmark

"Target users’ diagrammatic reasoning of domain-specific terminology"

[presentation file]

13:50 Discussion





General Discussion: Next steps towards smarter visualization of concepts


Coffee break


Workshop's Outcome

This workshop brought together experts that presented very interesting views on how to make more attractive and smarter visualizations of concepts for different research areas. Furthermore this workshop opened a forum intended to try to identify different needs and tools required to make smart concept visualizations. The conclusion of the workshop was to continue this effort through a website built for this purpose [coming soon]: IntelliVisuals.


The Workshop will take place at the Copenhagen Business School, CBS Dalgas Have 15, room SV.052