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Article:
  A New Visualization for Web Server Logs
Subject:   Surface plot, viewing 3D
Date:   2007-02-15 08:20:29
From:   rajuvarghese
Response to: Surface plot, viewing 3D

Surfaces do look better than clouds but my hesitation is due to two things:



  1. joining up points to form a line (2D case) and making a surface (3D case) is ok for continuous functions/data. In this case, the adjacent IP addresses may have little to do with each other and one cannot expect a smooth transition between any two points. This can apply to one of more of the axes (IP address and content). Interpolating a surface may, therefore, be fake.

  2. I have another yet dimension that I would like to bring into the picture and color is the only thing left at my disposal


But you do bring up an important point: interactivity. Plots such as the ones in the article are dead objects that cannot tell you any more about the displayed data. A good interactive tool would let the user mouse over the points and describe each data point. Excel charts can do this as, I am sure, many others too. Excel has many other well-known limitations which precluded its use for decent-sized log files. I would love to try out my data with a proper 3D tool such as the one you linked to.


If you have such a tool and could load it up with similar data, I would be grateful if you put up a screenshot to show that it does indeed look good.



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  1. Surface plot, viewing 3D
    2007-02-15 18:04:44  Nick_3D [View]

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