Geospatial Data Exploration Using Interactive and Intelligent Cartographic Animations

P.J. Ogao, M.J. Kraak

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionAcademicpeer-review


At present, the use of cartographic animations in exploratory environments is characterized by a nature that is passive and that which is based on predetermined linear playback paths of the animation frames. By this, the animations are pre-designed to run with little or no interference from the viewers and only along specific predetermined story lines. Partly, the reason for this passivity that also translates into low levels of interactivity is the fact that during playback, each scene is viewed as a single graphic image whose content therein cannot be disintegrated into the individual geospatial features that it encompasses. This limits the geospatial features, their properties and the behaviors that the scenes can support and also reduces the level of interaction that a user can have with the individual geospatial features. For cartographic animations to be effective tools, their design should focus on developing interactive functionality that can present and analyze data, facilitate experimentation with different combinations of data, and forecast future scenarios during run-time. To geo-scientists, interactive tools are necessary for manipulating the images on display and its associated data sets. They similarly can reduce the geo-scientist's interpretative and judgmental workload during exploratory tasks. In this paper we outline an approach in cartographic animation design that enhances the level of interaction between user and the geospatial features embedded within the animation frames. We do this by giving more autonomy to the geospatial features in a way that their individual characteristics can be steered and tracked and their relationship to other features ascertained. This we do by incorporating an inference mechanism within an animated geospatial object thereby enabling an animation to autonomously make decisions and respond to the user and other geospatial object's actions during run-time. We demonstrate this functionality in a prototype that utilizes meteorological data sets to dynamically characterize and track weather patterns and resolve conflict situations during exploratory tasks.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings 20th International Cartographic Conference
Subtitle of host publicationMapping the 21st century, Bejing, China, August 6-10, 2001
Number of pages8
Publication statusPublished - 2001
Event20th International Cartographic Conference, ICC 2000: Mapping the 21st century - Beijing, China
Duration: 6 Aug 200110 Aug 2001
Conference number: 20


Conference20th International Cartographic Conference, ICC 2000


  • ADLIB-ART-858
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