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

    Yes, your hesitation is correct in some respect. True spread data has little or no sense in surface representation. The things are different if you have at least 2 continuous directions such as Z (volume or hits in your case) and X (time in your case) then surface works perfectly fine as it is sown in links above. 3D surf is constructed as bands or 3D tapes, interpolation only in continuous directions. Feel free to drop a line to my friends at www.ScienceGL.com to get demo, evaluation whatever. Contact Alex.
    Network graphics (http://www.sciencegl.com/)