“Geovisualization illustrated” discusses alternatives to static maps, such as the “immersive and highly interactive virtual environments” which can be used to present spatial data (Kraak, 2003: 390). These are particularly useful in exploring the data and learning from it, offering more insight than traditional maps. Reading this paper, I was reminded of the first class we had in GEOG506, where we discussed what was or wasn’t considered a map (using a graph of migration flows). It now seems clear that there are quasi-endless ways of visualizing spatial data, to put forward different attributes.

Geovisualization could be a solution to the problem of representing temporal data, because of its ability to include time as a variable, especially in the 3D model. It would then be possible to visualize changes through time on one layer, which is not possible in commercial GIS software.

I would argue that the geovisualization models shown in this paper are not very user-friendly and require some explanation to be understood. However, an interactive version with sliders and rotating axes would be much easier to comprehend. In this case, geovisualization would be a tool limited to those with access to computers and an Internet connection. Can 3D maps be made clearer on paper?


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