involv_final_isvd2009

involv_final_isvd2009 - Visualizing Biodiversity with...

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Unformatted text preview: Visualizing Biodiversity with Voronoi Treemaps Michael S. Horn, Matthew Tobiasz, and Chia Shen Initiative in Innovative Computing at Harvard University 60 Oxford Street Cambridge, MA 02138 USA Email: [email protected], [email protected], chia [email protected] Abstract —Introduced in 2005, the Voronoi treemap algo- rithm is an information visualization technique for displaying hierarchical data. Voronoi treemaps use weighted, centroidal Voronoi diagrams to create a nested tessellation of convex polygons. However, despite appealing qualities, few real world examples of Voronoi treemaps exist. In this paper, we present a multi-touch tabletop application called Involv that uses the Voronoi treemap algorithm to create an interactive visualiza- tion for the Encyclopedia of Life. Involv is the result of a year- long iterative development process and includes over 1.2 million named species organized in a nine-level hierarchy. Working in the domain of life sciences, we have encountered the need to display supplemental hierarchical data to augment information in the treemap. Thus we propose an extension of the Voronoi treemap algorithm that employs force-directed graph drawing techniques both to guide the construction of the treemap and to overlay a supplemental hierarchy. Keywords-Voronoi treemaps; information visualization; multi-touch tabletop displays; interaction design; biodiversity I. INTRODUCTION In this paper, we present a multi-touch tabletop application called Involv , that uses the Voronoi treemap algorithm to create an interactive visualization for the Encyclopedia of Life [5]. Involv is an ongoing project of the Scientists’ Discovery Room Lab (SDR) at the Initiative in Innovative Computing at Harvard University. At the writing of this paper, the visualization includes over 1.2 million named species organized in a nine-level hierarchy. In attempting to visualize this taxonomy of life on earth, we have encountered the need to display supplemental hierarchical information to augment our primary data source. In particular, we have found it useful to integrate phylogenetic information (i.e. in- formation about the evolutionary history of organisms) with our existing visualization. Thus, we propose an extension of the Voronoi treemap algorithm that employs force-directed graph drawing techniques to overlay supplemental phyloge- netic information on top of the treemap. This technique has the added benefit of guiding the spatial layout of regions in the treemap based on the evolutionary relatedness of the various taxonomic groups. II. RELATED WORK Introduced in 2005, the Voronoi treemap algorithm is an information visualization technique for displaying hier- archical datasets [1]. The Voronoi treemap is an iteration Figure 1. The Involv system uses the Voronoi treemap algorithm [1] to create an interactive visualization for the Encyclopedia of Life....
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This note was uploaded on 02/13/2012 for the course CS 91.550 taught by Professor Yanco during the Spring '11 term at UMass Lowell.

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involv_final_isvd2009 - Visualizing Biodiversity with...

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