Scatterplots in 2D and 3D are very useful tools, but also suffer from a number of problems. Overplotting hides the true number of points that are displayed, and showing point clouds in 3D is problematic both in terms of perception and interaction. We propose a combination of 2D and 3D scatterplots, together with some extensions to overcome these problems. By linking 2D and 3D views, it is possible to interact in 2D and get feedback in 3D. That feedback is also enhanced by depth cues (color and point size) such that the user gets a better depth impression. Histograms in 2D and 3D show additional information about point densities and additional context can be displayed. An example application demonstrates the usefulness of the technique.
Interactive Focus+Context Visualization with Linked 2D/3D Scatterplots. In 2nd International Conference on Coordinated and Multiple Views in Exploratory Visualization (CMV), pp. 49–60, 2004