Interactive exploratory visualization of 2D vector fields

Tobias Isenberg*, Maarten H. Everts, Jens Grubert, Sheelagh Carpendale

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)


In this paper we present several techniques to interactively explore representations of 2D vector fields. Through a set of simple hand postures used on large, touch-sensitive displays, our approach allows individuals to custom-design glyphs (arrows, lines, etc.) that best reveal patterns of the underlying dataset. Interactive exploration of vector fields is facilitated through freedom of glyph placement, glyph density control, and animation. The custom glyphs can be applied individually to probe specific areas of the data but can also be applied in groups to explore larger regions of a vector field. Re-positionable sources from which glyphs - animated according to the local vector field - continue to emerge are used to examine the vector field dynamically. The combination of these techniques results in an engaging visualization with which the user can rapidly explore and analyze varying types of 2D vector fields, using a virtually infinite number of custom-designed glyphs.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)983-990
Number of pages8
JournalComputer graphics forum
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - May 2008
Externally publishedYes


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