To get a handle on the amount of data points I’m dealing with, I did some sketching with Processing. Here are some of the pics. The main things I realized is that with 535 data points, screen space will be at a premium. I also have to be careful to use icons that don’t get too muddled en mass or cause weird optical effects (you’ll see some below). I haven’t played with transparency yet, but I’m sure that will come into play, especially if I end up using some sort of network view, were the data points may end up overlapping on screen.
A few notes. As you can tell, I’m definitely leaning towards stacked squares as the default visual form. I tried everything I could think of to make the circles work, but given the number of data points, the circles just will not play, mainly because the space between dots causes a distracting optical effect. I also like the stacked boxes for creating a a series of vertical histograms, a great way to display multivariate data, especially when much of it is nominal. However, I’m still hoping to have a “scatter” and “network” mode to allow for some other viewing methods.