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Data-Spatial Layouts for Grid Maps

Authors Nathan van Beusekom , Wouter Meulemans , Bettina Speckmann , Jo Wood



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Author Details

Nathan van Beusekom
  • TU Eindhoven, The Netherlands
Wouter Meulemans
  • TU Eindhoven, The Netherlands
Bettina Speckmann
  • TU Eindhoven, The Netherlands
Jo Wood
  • City, University of London, UK

Acknowledgements

We want to thank Kevin Verbeek for useful discussions on the computational aspects of this paper.

Cite AsGet BibTex

Nathan van Beusekom, Wouter Meulemans, Bettina Speckmann, and Jo Wood. Data-Spatial Layouts for Grid Maps. In 12th International Conference on Geographic Information Science (GIScience 2023). Leibniz International Proceedings in Informatics (LIPIcs), Volume 277, pp. 10:1-10:17, Schloss Dagstuhl - Leibniz-Zentrum für Informatik (2023)
https://doi.org/10.4230/LIPIcs.GIScience.2023.10

Abstract

Grid maps are a well-known technique to visualize data associated with spatial regions. A grid map assigns each region to a tile in a grid (often orthogonal or hexagonal) and then represents the associated data values within this tile. Good grid maps represent the underlying geographic space well: regions that are geographically close are close in the grid map and vice versa. Though Tobler’s law suggests that spatial proximity relates to data similarity, local variations may obscure clusters and patterns in the data. For example, there are often clear differences between urban centers and adjacent rural areas with respect to socio-economic indicators. To get a better view of the data distribution, we propose grid-map layouts that take data values into account and place regions with similar data into close proximity. In the limit, such a data layout is essentially a chart and loses all spatial meaning. We present an algorithm to create hybrid layouts, allowing for trade-offs between data values and geographic space when assigning regions to tiles. Our algorithm also handles hierarchical grid maps and allows us to focus either on data or on geographic space on different levels of the hierarchy. Leveraging our algorithm we explore the design space of (hierarchical) grid maps with a hybrid layout and their semantics.

Subject Classification

ACM Subject Classification
  • Theory of computation → Computational geometry
Keywords
  • Grid map
  • algorithms
  • trade-offs

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