The Icon Imagemap Technique for Multivariate Geospatial Data Visualization: Approach and Software System
Authors: Zhang, Xianfeng; Pazner, Micha
Source: Cartography and Geographic Information Science, 1 January 2004, vol. 31, no. 1, pp. 29-41(13)
Abstract:: The visualization of multivariate geospatial data is an important concern in environmental modeling, exploratory data analysis, and geographic/spatial applications. This paper presents an icon-based visualization technique designed for co-visualizing multiple layers of geospatial information. Icon imagemaps are based on a three-tiered image structure consisting of pixel, icon block, and image levels. In icon imagemaps it is icons rather than pixels that form meaningful visualization primitives. Graphically versatile aggregate icon constructs take several visual variables into consideration, such as color, length, width, orientation, shape, size, pattern, and texture, and thus can carry more information than conventional pixel images. The extension from pixels to icons in the icon imagemap technique enables raster GIS to represent multiple variables at a single location in the "simple" raster data model. The IconMapper software system was developed as an implementation of the icon imagemap visualization technique. The modeling of terrain traversability in the Las Vegas area was used as an example to test the usefulness of this visualization technique. This paper describes the icon imagemap approach (concept and design issues) and its implementation as a software tool. The relative simplicity and flexibility of the icon imagemap approach makes it a powerful tool for non-fused visualization of multivariate geospatial data.
Document Type: Research Article
Publication date: January 1, 2004