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Visualization is the process of forming a mental image of something, envisioning something that is not present or is not tangible as if it were. It also refers to any technique for creating graphical representations to communicate information.



  • Within the atom occur phenomena concerning which visualization is futile, to which common sense, the guidance from our everyday experience, has no application, which yield to studies by equations that have no meaning except that they work.
When you visualized a man or woman carefully, you could always begin to feel pity — that was a quality God's image carried with it.
- Graham Greene, 1940
  • Only damaged people want good things to happen to them through visualization. They want something for nothing.
  • Since geometry is the right foundation of all painting, I have decided to teach its rudiments and principles to all youngsters eager for art.
  • Our intellectual powers are rather geared to master static relations and that our powers to visualize processes evolving in time are relatively poorly developed. For that reason we should do (as wise programmers aware of our limitations) our utmost to shorten the conceptual gap between the static program and the dynamic process, to make the correspondence between the program (spread out in text space) and the process (spread out in time) as trivial as possible.
  • No man can visualize four dimensions, except mathematically … I think in four dimensions, but only abstractly. The human mind can picture these dimensions no more than it can envisage electricity. Nevertheless, they are no less real than electro-magnetism, the force which controls our universe, within, and by which we have our being.


  • When you visualized a man or woman carefully, you could always begin to feel pity — that was a quality God's image carried with it. When you saw the lines at the corners of the eyes, the shape of the mouth, how the hair grew, it was impossible to hate. Hate was just a failure of imagination.
  • However the development proceeds in detail, the path so far traced by the quantum theory indicates that an understanding of those still unclarified features of atomic physics can only be acquired by foregoing visualization and objectification to an extent greater than that customary hitherto...
  • The nature of the pigments provides the basis for sensations of light and color; that is, brightness, hue and saturation. The geometrical demarcation of these qualities provide the physical basis for perception of areas and their shapes. Altogether, these factors constitute the vocabulary of the language of vision, and are acting as the optical forces of attraction.
    • György Kepes (1944/1995) Language of vision. p. 16; as cited in: Yuri Engelhardt (2002) The Language of Graphics: A Framework for the Analysis of Syntax and Meaning in Maps, Charts and Diagram. p. 25.


  • Understanding how maps work and why maps work (or do not work) as representations in their own right and as prompts to further representations, and what it means for a map to work, are critical issues as we embark on a visual information age.
    • Alan MacEachren (2004) How maps work: representation, visualization, and design. Guilford Press. p. v.
  • Writing turned a spotlight on the high, dim Sierras of speech; writing was the visualization of acoustic space. It lit up the dark.
  • I attack both from the logic-side, scribbling outline after outline, and the long-walk relaxed-visualization-side, and while neither alone is enough, the combination synergizes. Which is just a fancy way of saying, "I think about it a lot, day and night."
    • Lois McMaster Bujold (2008) "Publishing, Writing, and Authoring" in: The Vorkosigan Companion, p. 67
No man can visualize four dimensions, except mathematically... - Albert Einstein, 1929
  • One of the curious psychological facts, in connection with the various ways in which various minds function, is the fact that when in these days we seek to visualize, in some pictorial manner, our ultimate view of life, the images which are called up are geometrical or chemical rather than anthropomorphic. It is probable that even the most rational and logical among us as soon as he begins to philosophize at all is compelled by the necessity of things to form in the mind some vague pictorial representation answering to his conception of the universe.
    Most minds see the universe of their mental conception as something quite different from the actual stellar universe upon which we all gaze. Even the most purely rational minds who find the universe in "pure thought" are driven against their rational will to visualize this "pure thought" and to give it body and form and shape and movement.
  • I think a picture is more like the real world when it is made out of the real world.
  • We are frequently faced with the necessity of looking for the picture required for the visualization of an object, not in the perception of this particular object, but in a different perceptual image. ...we can assert the discrepancy between the perceived picture and the objective state. This discrepancy... proves absolutely nothing against the fact that all visualizations are merely sense qualities of the perceptual space. ...If the parallelism is be visualized, we must supplement our assertion by the description of certain qualities with which we are familiar from perceptual space.
  • There is no pure visualization in the sense of a priori philosophies; every visualization is determined by previous sense perceptions, and any separation into perceptual space and space of visualization is not permissible, since the specifically visual elements of the imagination are derived from perceptual space. What led to the mistaken conception of pure visualization was rather an improper interpretation of the normative function... an essential element of all visual representations. Indeed, all arguments which have been introduced for the distinction of perceptual space and space of visualization are base on this normative component of the imagination.


  • For some queer and deplorable reason most human beings are more impressed by words than by figures, to the great disadvantage of mankind.
    • Jan Tinbergen. "The necessity of quantitative social research." Sankhyā: The Indian Journal of Statistics, Series B (1973): 141-148.
  • To name is to make visible.
    • Margaret Wheatley, Deborah Frieze (2011) Walk Out Walk On: A Learning Journey into Communities Daring to Live the Future Now. p. 31.

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