Highlighting in geovisualization

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38 Scopus citations


Coordinated view geovisualizations allow users to interactively pick and attend to data observations across multiple views. This is frequently supported by the transient application of a visual effect to an observation during a mouse selection or rollover. This technique, known as highlighting, is typically implemented using a dedicated bright and saturated color to outline observations. In this paper we present a range of possibilities for alternative approaches to color highlighting, beginning with examples from the range of available visual variables and moving beyond those options to other, non-visual variable methods such as the use of lines to connect highlighted observations. We also describe design criteria for highlighting methods that can be used to predict and test the suitability of different approaches, and apply those criteria to our set of proposed methods to identify potential good candidates for implementation in future systems. Next, we present a set of highlighting types that define basic ways in which highlighting methods can be combined, modified, and driven directly by data values. We conclude by outlining several broad research challenges for future work on the development and evaluation of highlighting methods in geographic visualization.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)373-383
Number of pages11
JournalCartography and Geographic Information Science
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 2011

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Management of Technology and Innovation


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