Revealing patterns and trends of mass mobility through spatial and temporal abstraction of origin-destination movement data
Origin-destination (OD) movement data describe moves or trips between spatial locations by specifying the origins, destinations, start, and end times, but not the routes travelled. For studying the spatio-temporal patterns and trends of mass mobility, individual OD moves of many people are aggregated into flows (collective moves) by time intervals. Time-variant flow data pose two difficult challenges for visualization and analysis. First, flows may connect arbitrary locations (not only neighbors), thus making a graph with numerous edge intersections, which is hard to visualize in a comprehensible way. Even a single spatial situation consisting of flows in one time step is hard to explore. The second challenge is the need to analyze long time series consisting of numerous spatial situations. We present an approach facilitating exploration of long-term flow data by means of spatial and temporal abstraction. It involves a special way of data aggregation, which allows representing spatial situations by diagram maps instead of flow maps, thus reducing the intersections and occlusions pertaining to flow maps. The aggregated data are used for clustering of time intervals by similarity of the spatial situations. Temporal and spatial displays of the clustering results facilitate the discovery of periodic patterns and longer-term trends in the mass mobility behavior.