Mapping Data: Choices & Challenges - DLS Talk by Jason Dykes, City University London (UK)


Hugh Dempster Building (6245 Agronomy Rd), Room 110

Mapping Data: Choices & Challenges

Speaker:  Jason Dykes, Professor, City University London (UK)

Host:  Tamara Munzner, UBC Computer Science


Work at the giCentre at City University London creatively explores interactions between Cartography and Information Visualization - between the development and study of symbolised depictions of geographical settings and the use of physical space in graphics to represent non-spatial relationships. When do we want to emphasize spatial structure in our data? When do we want to emphasize non-spatial structure? Can we do both?

This talk will focus on recent work in which we design and develop novel maps and graphics by adding structure to geographic representations to help with comparison and geography to non-spatial representations to reveal geographic relationships.

I'll show how examples in which we use these partial geographies - for example to reveal voting behaviours, manage a cycle hire scheme, find structure in migration patterns and analyse user contributed photo streams.

The talk will introduce ideas for design and development that draw upon these giCentre applications and experiences as we characterise the design space between geographic visualization and information visualization. I'll also present some ideas about when and where we might want to emphasize particular aspects of geography in our visual design - by outlining some choices we have made and challenges we might face.


Jason Dykes is Professor of Visualization at the giCentre, where he and his colleagues design and develop maps and graphics that help make sense of data and explain phenomena in a range of domains. These interactive interfaces to data have helped generate insights and communicate trends in collaboration with, for example, climatologists, historical geographers, animal ecologists and analysts in defence, local government, the insurance industry, public transportation, criminal intelligence and energy. This applied work has resulted in a series of techniques, frameworks and guidelines to support broader visualization efforts. It has been recognised through four successive 'Best Paper' prizes at GIS Research UK meetings for innovative visualization work (2007, 2008, 2009 & 2010). Other giCentre palmares include 'Honorable Mentions' at IEEE InfoVis in 2009 and 2010, the Best Paper award at IEEE EuroVIS 2014, prizes in the IEEE VAST Challenge in 2009 and 2010 for innovative applied visualization and awards from Google, Nokia and The GeoInformation Group.

Co-chair of the ICA Commission on GeoVisualization and lead editor of 'Exploring Geovisualization' (Dykes et al., 2005), Jason was chair of IEEE Information Visualization 2014 in Paris having twice acted as papers chair (2012-13) and was recently appointed to the IEEE Information Visualization Steering Committee. He was made a National Teaching Fellow of the UK Higher Education Academy in 2005 and has given keynotes at the AutoCarto, GIScience and GISRUK conferences. Jason initiated the Velo Club de VIS, a highly disorganised visualization road bike club with fancy jerseys.

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