Visual Exploration of 3d Geospatial Networks in a Virtual Reality Environment



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Oxford University Press


Classic geospatial network visualization tends to limit itself to 2D representation by organizing edges and nodes on a 2D map or the external surface of a traditional 3D globe model. Visual clutters and occlusions due to edge crossings and node-edge overlaps make efficient and effective exploration of geospatial networks a challenge. This paper proposes an interactive visualization approach for the intuitive exploration of geospatial networks inside a spherical virtual reality environment. To reduce visual clutter and reveal network patterns, we also propose a parameterized 5-step 3D edge-bundling algorithm and a set of techniques to avoid collision of network edges with the viewpoint. Our spherical interaction and 3D edge-bundling approach have been implemented in an Oculus Rift VR system. We demonstrate the usefulness of our approach with two case studies on real-world network data and usability experiments. ©2018 The British Computer Society. All rights reserved.


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Computer networks--Geospacial, Virtual reality headsets, Shared virtual environments, Virtual reality, Helmet mounted displays, Visualization, Exploration, Intuitive, Three-dimensional display systems

National NSFC project (Grant nos. 61602340, 61572348 and 71702080); National High-tech R&D Program (863 Grant no. 215AA020506) and Humanity and Social Sciences Fund of Ministry of Education (17YJC630071).


©2018 The British Computer Society. All rights reserved.