Geovisualization and synergies from InfoVis and visual analytics
Geovisualization (GeoViz) is an intrinsically complex process. The analyst needs to look at data from various perspectives and at various scales, from "seeing the whole" to "attending to particulars" (Andrienko and Andrienko 2006). The analyst is also supposed to "see in relation", i.e. make numerous comparisons. This inherent complexity is multiplied by the complexity of the data that is explored and analyzed. The complex, multivariate data structure and heterogeneous components of most contemporary datasets necessitate a combined use of multiple techniques and approaches. There is no single visualization method capable to show "the whole". The analyst has to decompose this whole into views, examine these views and then try to synthesize the whole picture from the partial views. Also, because of large data volumes, we must use methods capable of simultaneously providing an overall view and exposing various "particulars". Looking for "particulars" requires therefore different techniques than "seeing the whole". Some existing visualization tools such as GeoVista and CommonGIS have successfully demonstrated the advantage of multiple-linked views and the use of information visualization (InfoViz) methods such as Parallel Coordinates and Heat maps to explore spatial multivariate data.