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Cartography and Geographic Information Science

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Geovisualization and GIScience

Menno-Jan Kraak & Alan M. MacEachren

To cite this article: Menno-Jan Kraak & Alan M. MacEachren (2005) Geovisualization
and GIScience, Cartography and Geographic Information Science, 32:2, 67-68, DOI:

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Published online: 14 Mar 2013.

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Download by: [Gadjah Mada University] Date: 25 October 2016, At: 02:38
Geovisualization and GIScience

Menno-Jan Kraak and Alan M. MacEachren

T oday it is recognized that we can no

longer rely upon uni-disciplinary
solutions for our most pressing geo-
problems. The hard problems require multiple
perspectives and different types of expertise.
issue of this journal in 2001 (MacEachren and
Kraak 2001) . Geovisualization can be described as
a loosely bounded domain that addresses the visual
exploration, analysis, synthesis, and presentation
of geospatial data by integrating approaches from
This is reflected in the names and activities of cartography with those from other information
organizations and journals. This journal has representation and analysis disciplines, including
evolved, in both name and perspectives, from scientific visualization, image analysis, informa-
The American Cartographer via Cartography and tion visualization, exploratory data analysis, and
Geographic Information Systems into its current GIScience (Dykes et al. 2005).
shape as Cartography and Geographic Information This special issue is a representation of the
Science (CaGIS). Similarly, the International Commissions recent activities toward GIScience.
Cartographic Association (for which this jour- It is derived from Commission-sponsored activities
nal is one of three official outlets) has recently included in the GIScience 2004 Conference.
decided to add The International Society for Three of the four papers were given as oral
Cartography and Geographic Information presentations in the main conference and one at
Science as a subtitle to its name. Over the years, the Commissions pre-conference workshop. The
the ICA Commission on Visualization and Virtual former derive from extended abstracts included
Environments has worked together with other in the GIScience proceedings. All reflect work
disciplines such as those related to scientific in progress related to goals outlined in the
visualization and computer graphics (through Commissions 2001 research agenda.
the SIGGRAPH CartoProject led by Theresa- Geovisualization is becoming a diverse, multi-
Marie Rhyne disciplinary field of research and practice. The
carto/) and information visualization (through breadth of research issues was articulated in a
a workshop at City University in London that 2001 international, multidisciplinary research
resulted in the recently published edited collec- agenda report published in CaGIS (MacEachren
tion, Exploring Geovisualization). and Kraak 2001). In that report, four cross-cutting
These ICA Commission activities and related themes were articulated:
developments have culminated in the term To develop the understanding and inte-
Geovisualization and have resulted in the grated technologies that make it possible
Commission-led international and multidisciplinary to take advantage of the potential offered
research agenda which was published as a special by increasingly experiential representation
To develop extensible methods and tools
Menno-Jan Kraak, ITC, Department of Geoinformation Processing,
P. O. Box 6, 7500 AA Enschede, The Netherlands. Phone: +31 53 that enable understanding of, and insight
4874463; Fax: +31 53 4874335. E-mail: <>. Alan to be derived from, the increasingly large
M. MacEachren, GeoVISTA Center, Department of Geography, and complex geospatial data sets becoming
302 Walker Bldg., Penn State University, University Park, PA available.
16802-5011. Phone: (814) 865-7491; Fax: (814) 863-7943. E-mail: To develop a new generation of geovisualization
<>. methods and tools that support group work.

Cartography and Geographic Information Science, Vol. 32, No. 2, 2005, pp. 67-68
To develop a human centered approach to The paper by Ahonen-Rainio and Kraak (both
geovisualization. cartographers) relates to the themes two and four,
The papers making up this issue reflect each of that is, extraction from complex data sets and
these themes, and they represent the multidisci- human-centered approaches to geovisualization,
plinary perspective on geovisualization fostered respectively. The authors focus on the application
by the ICA Commission. of interactive visualization methods to understand-
The paper by Dllner, a computer scientist, ing the multiple components of metadata needed
addresses aspects of theme one. He focuses on to determine suitability of data sets for particular
strategies for controlling usage of 3D virtual spaces categories of use. Their visualization approach
by means of constraints on navigation through the integrates traditional cartographic representations
space. The application domain is 3D city models. with multivariate visualization methods derived
Much of the focus is on spatial and structural from exploratory data analysis and information
constraints on what can be viewed and how the visualization.
3D space can be navigated. Beyond these issues, Guo and colleagues (all geographers) address
however, Dllner addresses an additional category the second theme. Their focus is on the develop-
of constraints that goes beyond the themes in the ment and application of methods and tools for
2001 research agenda and which directly relate knowledge construction from large, multivariate
to other activities in GIScience constraints geospatial data sets. Specifically, they detail their
associated with digital rights management (ways work on the development and application of an
to govern and authorize the distribution and use integrated visual-computational environment for
of content and services). multivariate data analysis. The environment they
Shafer and colleagues (a team of information describe applies cartographic insights on bivariate
scientists) consider web-based, visual methods and color schemes to a dynamically linked set of tools
tools to enable community collaboration. Their that include a map, SOM, and parallel coordinate
work emphasizes synchronous geocollaboration plots that depict results of computational clustering.
and draws upon and extends recent develop- Their application focus is cancer data analysis.
ments in computer-supported cooperative work.
Specifically, they review recent geocollaboration REFERENCES
software projects. The emphasis is on the first Dykes, J., A. M. MacEachren, and M.-J. Kraak. (eds). 2005.
authors dissertation research and on a commer- Exploring geovisualization. Amsterdam: Elsevier.
cial system with which another author is affiliated. MacEachren, A. M. and M.-J. Kraak. 2001. Research
Using these examples as a base, they outline a set challenges in geovisualization. Cartography and
Geographic Information Science 28(1): 3-12.
of core design issues for map-based, synchronous,
web-based, geocollaboration tools.

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