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Visualization techniques in metadata information systems for geospatial data

: Jasnoch, U.; Göbel, S.


Advances in environmental research 5 (2001), No.4, pp.415-424
ISSN: 1093-0191
Journal Article
Fraunhofer IGD ()
metadata; environmental information system; residual waste; landfill; geospatial data; visualization; information retrieval; visual data mining; user assistance

This paper describes MIS in general and presents - by means of an information system for residual waste - several approaches to overcome the lack of usability in these information systems for environmental and geospatial data. MetaViz uses visualization techniques and spatial metaphors to generate effective and intuitive representations of the metadata. InfoCrystal is settled in the field of mathematics and tries to facilitate the query formulation and query refinement process by using abstract Venn diagrams instead of traditional fill-in forms. VisDB and TileBars are two approaches which have originated in the field of visual data mining/exploration, aimed at visualizing as much information as possible. Finally, some suggestions for further research in that field are described. The more information and data2 that are produced in the actual information society, the more important mechanisms and systems which organize the data and include information on where to find these data become. Most popular peculiarities of such information systems are digital libraries, metadata3 information systems (MIS) and catalogue systems (CS). Recent initiatives to geospatial libraries and environmental MIS/CS provide access to a wealth of distributed data, but offer only basic levels of interactivity and user assistance. This includes all steps of the information retrieval process: query formulation, query modification, comparison of (metadata) result sets and detailed presentation with respect to the visualization of result sets.