polowinski.de / work / Semi-Automatic Mapping of Structured Data to Visual Variables
Flexible Visualizations of Semantic Web Data
Dissertation project of Dipl. Medien-Inf. Jan Polowinski
Supervisor: Prof. Dr. rer. nat. habil. Uwe Aßmann
Work on this project received financial support from the European Union and the Free State of Saxony.


Whenever people interact with data from the semantic web, this data has to be transformed into a human understandable representation. However, depending on the domain, szenario, and intention of a user, a different view on the data is optimal. In this project a technology shall be investigated that allows defining how to visualize which data in the most easy and flexible way. By using formalized knowledge of graphic experts and guidance from the system this shall be possible for all users. The visualization shall not be bound to a certain output platform to support the usage on various devices.

Current Activities

I'm currently moving the contents of this website to my blog, please have a look at the SemVis blog for more information on my PhD project.

First Prototypical Output

The sourcecode of the final prototype will be published here after the thesis has been submitted.


  1. "An Integrated Facet-Based Library for Arbitrary Software Components"
    Matthias Schmidt, Jan Polowinski, Jendrik Johannes and Miguel A. Fernandez
    in ECMFA 2010, LNCS 6138 proceedings (Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg, 2010), 261-276. www.springerlink.com
  2. "Widgets for Faceted Browsing"
    Jan Polowinski
    in Human Interface and the Management of Information. Designing Information Environments, LNCS 5617 proceedings, (Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg, 2009), 601-610.
    Zusammenfassung von Grundlagen des Faceted Browsings und ein Vergleich von Facettenbrowsern, entstanden als Teilergebnis der Recherche zur interaktiven Visualisierung. www.springerlink.com


  1. March 2009 - Faceted Classification and Faceted Browsing (public presentation at the institute)
  2. July 2009 - Widgets for Faceted Browsing (presentation at the HCII 2009, San Diego).
  3. November 2009 - Project introduction and ideas for collaboration regarding a Visualization Ontology (presentation at the institute, not published at the moment)

Other Results

As Facetted Browsing is suggested as a filtering mechanism in my work, I compared several Facetted Browsers for the first paper. The results of this survey themselves can be browsed with the Facetted Browser Exhibit. The results are also published within Freebase as a sideeffect of testing the Metaweb Technologies software. If you are interested in Faceted Browsing and related technologies, you are welcome to contribute to the database.
An example OWL data file from the Domain of history can be browsed with an Exhibit as well.

Background and Links

Diploma Thesis PDF | Großer Beleg PDF

Next Steps

Continuing work at the Visualization Ontology in a collaborative way with the help of a Semantic MediaWiki.