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Metaphor Representation and Analysis of Non-Spatial Data in Map-Like Visualizations

1, 1,* and 2
School of Resource and Environment Sciences, Wuhan University, 129 LuoYu Road, Wuhan 430072, China
College of Geomatics, Shandong University of Science and Technology, 579 QianWanGang Road, Qingdao 266590, China
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
ISPRS Int. J. Geo-Inf. 2018, 7(6), 225;
Received: 25 April 2018 / Revised: 27 May 2018 / Accepted: 13 June 2018 / Published: 19 June 2018
PDF [6359 KB, uploaded 19 June 2018]


Metaphors are rhetorical devices in linguistics that facilitate the understanding of an unfamiliar concept based on a familiar concept. Map representations are usually referred to as the second language of geo-science studies, and the metaphor method could be applied to maps to visualize non-spatial data via spatial element symbols. This study performs a cross-domain application of the map representation method through a map-like visualization. The procedure first designs the map layout with the aid of the Gosper curve. Under the guidance of the Gosper curve, the leaf data items without spatial attributes are arranged on the space plane. Through the bottom-up regional integration, one can complete the construction of the map framework. Then, the cartographic method is used to complete map-like renderings that reflect different data features through diverse visualizations. The map representation advantages, such as overview sensing and multi-scale representation, are also reflected in the map-like visualization and used to identify the characteristics of non-spatial data. Additionally, the electronic map provides a series of interactive convenience features for map observation and analysis. Using the help of map-like visualizations, one can perform a series of analyses of non-spatial data in a new form. To verify the proposed method, the authors conducted map-making experiments and data analyses using real data. View Full-Text
Keywords: map metaphor; non-spatial data; map-like visualization; map representation map metaphor; non-spatial data; map-like visualization; map representation

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Xin, R.; Ai, T.; Ai, B. Metaphor Representation and Analysis of Non-Spatial Data in Map-Like Visualizations. ISPRS Int. J. Geo-Inf. 2018, 7, 225.

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