Microsoft is planning to show off a new visualization language, codenamed "Vedea" at the Professional Developers Conference in Los Angeles in mid-November.
From a blog posting by Microsoft UK Researcher Martin Calsyn.
"Vedea is a new language for creating interactive data-driven visualizations... Vedea will be demonstrated publicly for the first time at PDC 09 November 16-19 in Los Angeles and should be broadly available from research.microsoft.com shortly thereafter."
Best I can tell, the language seems to be a project of the Microsoft Research Computational Science Laboratory. That unit is the team behind the Microsoft Compututational Science Studio (MSCSS), a "a tool for enabling non-programmer scientists and researchers to harness vast amounts of storage and compute power for running the multi-scale models that are needed to truly understand and predict complex natural systems."
MSCSS s a shell into which you plug in extensions – for visualization, data management, computation, modelling, and more, Calsyn explained in his post. He added:
"One extension might give you access to remote data on Azure; another might allow you to draw heat-maps over Virtual Earth; and another might support Perfect Plasticity Approximation models or computations on the Hadley climate model data ."
MSCSS was one of the tools that Craig Mundie demonstrated during his university tour this past week. Mundie told the Seattle Times that tools like MSCSS would do for scientists what Excel did for business folks: Make t easier to analyze vast amounts of technical data.
I'm not sure whether Vedea is an outgrowth of an existing Microsoft Research project or something brand-new. Microsoft showed off Vedea privately at the Microsoft Research eScience Workshop 2009 in mid-October.
There are lots of interesting directions Microsoft could take Vedea. Check out some of the visualization links on Calsyn's blog page for references to other visualization projects, including the open-source "Processing" visualization language, which is being taught in an increasing number of universities.