This paper introduces the visualization management system (ViMS), a new approach to the development of software for visualization in scientific computing (ViSC). The conceptual foundation for a ViMS is an abstract visualization model that specifies a class of geometric objects, the graphic representations of the objects, and the operations on both. A ViMS implements a visualization model and provides four levels of mechanisms for developing applications. The ViMS requirements and a model‐independent ViMS architecture are described. The ViMS approach presents several important opportunities for visualization standards.

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