Stenomaps : shorthand for shapes

A.I. Goethem, van, A. Reimer, B. Speckmann, J.D. Wood

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)
507 Downloads (Pure)


We address some of the challenges in representing spatial data with a novel form of geometric abstraction – the stenomap. The stenomap comprises a series of smoothly curving linear glyphs that each represent both the boundary and the area of a polygon. We present an efficient algorithm to automatically generate these open, C1-continuous splines from a set of input polygons. Feature points of the input polygons are detected using the medial axis to maintain important shape properties. We use dynamic programming to compute a planar non-intersecting spline representing each polygon’s base shape. The results are stylised glyphs whose appearance may be parameterised and that offer new possibilities in the ‘cartographic design space’. We compare our glyphs with existing forms of geometric schematisation and discuss their relative merits and shortcomings. We describe several use cases including the depiction of uncertain model data in the form of hurricane track forecasting; minimal ink thematic mapping; and the depiction of continuous statistical data.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2053-2062
Number of pages10
JournalIEEE Transactions on Visualization and Computer Graphics
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 2014


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