GeoVisual analytics: Interactivity, dynamics, and scale

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Andrienko, G. ; Andrienko, N. ; Dykes, J. ; Kraak, M.J. ; Robinson, A. ; Schumann, H. (2016)

3D desktop-based virtual environments provide a means for displaying quantitative data in context. Data that is inherently spatial in three-dimensions may benefit from visual exploration and analysis in relation to the environment in which they were collected and to which they relate. We empirically evaluate how effectively and efficiently such data can be visually analyzed in relation to location and landform in 3D versus 2D visualizations. In two experiments, participants performed visual analysis tasks in 2D and 3D visualizations and reported insights and their confidence in them. The results showed only small differences between the 2D and 3D visualizations in the performance measures that we evaluated: task completion time, confidence, complexity, and insight plausibility. However, we found differences for different data sets and settings suggesting that 3D visualizations, or 2D representations respectively, may be more or less useful for particular data sets and contexts.
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