Prof. Dr. Jürgen Döllner
Amir Semmo



Tel.: +49-(0)331 5509-3909
Fax: +49-(0)331 5509-172
Room: H-2.26
E-Mail: amir.semmo(at)hpi.de

Research Interests

Non-Photorealistic Rendering (NPR)
Real-Time Rendering & Shading
Computational Aesthetics
Cartographic Design
Virtual 3D City Models


Cartography-Oriented Design of 3D Geospatial Information Visualization - Overview and Techniques

Semmo, Amir and Trapp, Matthias and Jobst, Markus and Döllner, Jürgen
The Cartographic Journal, vol. 52(2):95–106 2015

DOI: 10.1080/00087041.2015.1119462


In economy, society and personal life map-based, interactive geospatial visualization becomes a natural element of a growing number of applications and systems. The visualization of 3D geospatial information, however, raises the question how to represent the information in an effective way. Considerable research has been done in technology-driven directions in the fields of cartography and computer graphics (e.g., design principles, visualization techniques). Here, non-photorealistic rendering represents a promising visualization category–situated between both fields–that offers a large number of degrees for the cartography-oriented visual design of complex 2D and 3D geospatial information for a given application context. Still today, however, specifications and techniques for mapping cartographic design principles to the state-of-the-art rendering pipeline of 3D computer graphics remain to be explored. This paper revisits cartographic design principles for 3D geospatial visualization and introduces an extended 3D semiotic model that complies with the general, interactive visualization pipeline. Based on this model, we propose non-photorealistic rendering techniques to interactively synthesize cartographic renditions of basic feature types, such as terrain, water, and buildings. In particular, it includes a novel iconification concept to seamlessly interpolate between photorealistic and cartographic representations of 3D landmarks. Our work concludes with a discussion of open challenges in this field of research, including topics such as user interaction and evaluation.

BibTeX file

author = { Semmo, Amir and Trapp, Matthias and Jobst, Markus and D{\"o}llner, J{\"u}rgen },
title = { Cartography-Oriented Design of 3D Geospatial Information Visualization - Overview and Techniques },
pages = { 95--106 },
year = { 2015 },
journal = { The Cartographic Journal },
volume = { 52 },
number = { 2 }

Copyright Notice

last change: Tue, 29 Mar 2016 15:03:56 +0200


  • An Interaction Framework for Level-of-Abstraction Visualization of 3D Geovirtual Environments - held at ACM SIGSPATIAL MapInteract 2014, Dallas, TX - USA (11/2014)
  • Image Filtering for Interactive Level-of-Abstraction Visualization of 3D Scenes - held at Expressive 2014, Vancouver - Canada (08/2014)
  • Evaluating the Perceptual Impact of Rendering Techniques on Thematic Color Mappings in 3D Virtual Environments - held at VMV 2013, Lugano - Switzerland (09/2013)
  • Real-Time Rendering of Water Surfaces with Cartography-Oriented Design - held at Expressive 2013, Anaheim, CA - USA (07/2013)
  • Cartography-Oriented Visualization of Virtual 3D City Models based on Level-of-Abstraction Transitions - held at HPI Research School, Potsdam - Germany (06/2012)
  • Interactive Visualization of Generalized Virtual 3D City Models using Level-of-Abstraction Transitions - held at EuroVis 2012, Vienna - Austria (06/2012)
  • Colonia3D - held at Kultur und Informatik Conference, Berlin - Germany (05/2011)
  • Ansätze zur kartographischen Gestaltung von 3D-Stadtmodellen - held at 31. Wissenschaftlich-Technische Jahrestagung der DGPF, Mainz - Germany (04/2011)
  • Automated Image-Based Abstraction of Aerial Images - held at AGILE Conference, Guimarães - Portugal (05/2010)


  • SoSe 2014: Seminar Image & Video Processing
    (with Sebastian Pasewaldt, Matthias Trapp)
  • WiSe 2013/14: Seminar Geovisualization
    (with Rico Richter)
  • SoSe 2013: Graphics Programming with OpenGL and C++
    (with Daniel Limberger, Stefan Buschmann)
  • WiSe 2012/13: Computergrafik II
    (with Daniel Limberger, Jürgen Döllner)
  • SoSe 2012: Exercises for 3D-Computergrafik I
    (with Jan Eric Kyprianidis, Matthias Trapp)
  • WiSe 2011/12: Exercises for Computergrafik II
    (with Matthias Trapp, Christine Lehmann, Jan Eric Kyprianidis)
  • WiSe 2011/12: Seminar Real-Time Rendering Techniques
    (with Rico Richter, Juri Engel)


  • ACM SIGGRAPH (2014)
  • Eurographics Conference on Visualization / EuroVis (2014)
  • IEEE Pacific Visualization (2013)
  • International Journal of Geographical Information Science (2013)
  • The Visual Computer (2012)