Stenomaps: A new visual encoding for thematic maps

Administrative regions and attached statistical data are often simply displayed by the contentious choropleth technique. A recent research collaboration between researchers from the Technical University Eindhoven, City University London and the GIScience group at Heidelberg University successfully added a new arrow to the quiver of Geovisualisation techniques: The Stenomap.

The stenomap comprises a series of smoothly curving linear glyphs that each represent both the boundary and the area of a polygon. Thematic data can then be coded either between the glyphs or directly on them as in the example on energy consumption of the French regions above. We could show that such a collapse of an area to a line is both possible and even advisable in some cases. Besides exploring this extension to the cartographic design space a new schematisation algorithm was developed allowing for three different design strategies.

We are glad to announce that the early access version of the IEEE VisWeek paper has been published online.