Visual encoding of dissimilarity data via topology-preserving map deformation

Quirijn W. Bouts, Tim Dwyer, Jason Dykes, Bettina Speckmann, Sarah Goodwin, Nathalie Henry Riche, Sheelagh Carpendale, Ariel Liebman

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

    6 Citations (Scopus)


    We present an efficient technique for topology-preserving map deformation and apply it to the visualization of dissimilarity data in a geographic context. Map deformation techniques such as value-by-area cartograms are well studied. However, using deformation to highlight (dis)similarity between locations on a map in terms of their underlying data attributes is novel. We also identify an alternative way to represent dissimilarities on a map through the use of visual overlays. These overlays are complementary to deformation techniques and enable us to assess the quality of the deformation as well as to explore the design space of blending the two methods. Finally, we demonstrate how these techniques can be useful in several-quite different-applied contexts: travel-time visualization, social demographics research and understanding energy flowing in a wide-area power-grid.

    Original languageEnglish
    Article number7328332
    Pages (from-to)2200-2213
    Number of pages14
    JournalIEEE Transactions on Visualization and Computer Graphics
    Issue number9
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Sep 2016


    • Dissimilarity
    • Maps
    • Cartographic visualization
    • Multidimensional scaling
    • Deformation

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